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A Separated Peace

MADRID – Back in 1996, Binyamin Netanyahu won a general election by mobilizing large constituencies against then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres’s alleged intention to “divide Jerusalem.” Nearly two decades later, Netanyahu remains committed to old, vacuous slogans about a “united Jerusalem” – a conviction that could, yet again, unravel the Israel-Palestine peace process.

As US Secretary of State John Kerry prepares to present a framework agreement for a conclusive round of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, Netanyahu’s hardline position on Jerusalem is simply a non-starter. In a last-ditch effort to improve the proposal’s chances of success, US President Barack Obama – who has largely avoided taking a proactive role in the peace process during his second term – met with Netanyahu at the White House to urge him to moderate his position.