Mideast Peace: The Last Optimists

You can call them the last optimists. As new peace talks kick off in Egypt, we hear from Palestinians and Israelis who say peace has a chance.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, Sept. 14, 2010. (AP)

New Mideast peace talks are taking place in the region today. Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian leaders are together in Egypt’s Sharm al-Sheikh. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is out front, talking “last chance” for peace. 

Despite the stakes, many will roll their eyes. Change channels. We’ve heard this all before. 

But, there are true believers – Israeli and Palestinian – who believe it can be done.  They believe that, behind the skepticism and cynicism and scar tissue, there is a way open, now.  As talks roll out, we look at where hope lives in the Middle East.

-Tom Ashbrook


Edmund Sanders, Jerusalem bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times.

Gadi Baltiansky, director-general of the Geneva Initiative-Israel and former press secretary for Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

Nidal Fuqaha, director-general of the Geneva Initiative-Palestine, and head of the Palestinian Peace Coalition.

Aaron David Miller, public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, and author of “The Much Too Promised Land: America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace.” He’s a former advisor to U.S. Secretaries of State on Arab-Israeli negotiations (1978-2003).

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