President Obama met Wednesday with Secretary of State Clinton and his special envoy for the Middle East, George Mitchell. But several prominent experts, meeting at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington this week, caution that the prospects are slim for a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians any time soon.
Robert Satloff, Executive Director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said: "Don't pursue the peace process for illusionary, romantic reasons. The peace process is not a solution to the problem of global terrorism. The peace process will not dry up recruits to al-Qaeda in Pakistan or Yemen or Somalia."
Robert Malley, a special assistant to former President Bill Clinton and now with the International Crisis Group, said: "We don't think that the time is ripe at this point for an end-of-conflict, comprehensive agreement between the Israeli people and the Palestinian people." He said that all of the parameters that guided the Clinton administration's peace efforts in the 1990s have shifted and there is no longer a national Palestinian movement with which to negotiate.
Aaron David Miller, who served as an adviser to six secretaries of state, advised the Obama administration not to pursue "big, transformative diplomacy." "This region, as best I can understand it, hates big ideas. Particularly those big ideas imposed, crafted or orchestrated from outside."