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File Photo: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Barack Obama, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and King Abdullah II of Jordan walk toward the East Room of the White House for statements on the first day of the Middle East peace talks September 1, 2010 in Washington, D.C.
On Wednesday President Obama began a series of bilateral meetings with the leaders of Israel, Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority. The president's goal is to kick start a process that will ultimately resolve the big issues in the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict – borders, settlements, refugees, Jerusalem -- so that the implementation of a two-state solution becomes a reality. These are the first direct Middle East peace talks in 20 months and many observers are asking the question. What, if anything, makes this round more hopeful than the last?
Jacob Dayan, Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles
Hussein Ibish, Senior Fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine. He blogs at Ibishblog.com