Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks to Begin

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 28 2013 5:54 PM

Peace Talks Between Israelis and Palestinians to Begin Monday in Washington

174405083
Secretary of State John Kerry listens as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon speaks before a meeting of the UN Security Council on July 25

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are set to launch the first substantive peace talks in years Monday night in Washington, the State Department said Sunday. The preliminary talks will be led by Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Palestinian chief negotiator Saed Erekat and follows “six months of frenetic shuttle diplomacy by Secretary of State John Kerry,” notes the Associated Press.

The announcement of the resumption of peace talks came shortly after Israeli cabinet agreed to release 104 Palestinian prisoners. It's an unpopular move among many in Israel, but Palestinians had long made it a condition to sit down for talks. “Whether it was a grudging gesture of goodwill, diplomatic blackmail or something in between, Netanyahu made a major concession to Kerry and the Palestinians,” points out the Washington Post. The prisoners, the majority of whom have served more than 20 years for attacks on Israelis, “will be released in batches depending on progress in talks,” details the New York Times. In order to explain the controversial move, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released what he called an “open letter to Israeli citizens.” 

Advertisement

The Israeli cabinet also voted to approve Netnayahu’s proposal to put any peace deal up for a referendum. Kerry called Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday and said they agreed that the talks would "serve as an opportunity to develop a procedural work plan for how the parties can proceed with the negotiations in the coming months,” according to a State Department statement.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

TODAY IN SLATE

History

The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Television

See Me

Transparent is the fall’s only great new show.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

  News & Politics
Damned Spot
Sept. 30 2014 9:00 AM Now Stare. Don’t Stop. The perfect political wife’s loving gaze in campaign ads.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 10:44 AM Bull---- Market America is overlooking a plentiful renewable resource: animal manure.
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Sept. 30 2014 10:10 AM A Lovable Murderer and Heroic Villain: The Story of Australia's Most Iconic Outlaw
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 10:59 AM “For People, Food Is Heaven” Boer Deng on the story behind her piece “How to Order Chinese Food.”
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 10:48 AM One of Last Year’s Best Animated Shorts Is Finally Online for Free
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:36 AM Almost Humane What sci-fi can teach us about our treatment of prisoners of war.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath the Methane Lakes of Titan?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.