Thursday, 10 March 2011

Mossad Ex-Chief Halevy Says Mideast Talks Won’t Settle Borders

Israelis and Palestinians probably won’t agree anytime soon on clear borders for a new state, leaving them to maintain current political arrangements for another generation, former Mossad Director Efraim Halevy said.

Even if Palestinians declare a state later this year and garner significant support at the United Nations, the move will have little practical significance and will probably perpetuate Israeli’s occupation of the West Bank, Halevy told reporters in Jerusalem today.

“People believe in two states for two peoples but do not believe in the sincerity of the other side,” Halevy said, presenting an 86-page analysis of four peace scenarios he published with a panel of academics. “Both governments are bent on maintaining the status quo because of the dangers inherent in any change in the situation.”

Middle East negotiations broke down two weeks after they started in September when Israel refused to extend a partial freeze on construction at West Bank settlements. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says he will not return to peace talks unless Israel halts all building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Halevy, 76, who was born in the U.K., wrote about his 40- year career in Israel’s Mossad spy agency in his 2006 book, “Man in the Shadows.” He is currently director of the Shasha Center for Strategic Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

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