Tags: Israel | Middle East | Steve Malzberg Show | dan raviv | cbs news | israel

CBS News' Raviv: Obama, Kerry Think Now is Time for Mideast Deal

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Monday, 17 Mar 2014 07:03 PM

The Obama administration believes that despite the many potential pitfalls, now is the best time to negotiate an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, according to Dan Raviv, a national correspondent for CBS News.

"The basic message is [Secretary of State John] Kerry says to the Israelis — and there certainly are a lot of Israelis who embrace this — that with all that's going on in the Middle East and all the turmoil and the Syrian civil war and Egypt's unrest and all of that, that this is a good time to make a deal," Raviv told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"Kerry and [President Barack] Obama's argument is this is the best time to seize a deal, minimize the obstacles – let's make a deal where Israel has secure borders and living in peace."

Story continues below video.



Raviv, who has just updated and revised his book, "Spies against Armageddon: Inside Israel's Secret Wars," published by Levant Books, said in tense negotiations, both sides tend be immovable at first.

"In my view, having watched and covered a lot of Middle East negotiations, both sides sort of dig in their lines, they go for maximalist demands," he said.

Raviv believes the Palestinians are "being kind of obnoxious" in insisting that Israel not be recognized as a Jewish state.

"[That is] leading to fears that the Palestinian hope eventually is to make peace with the state of Israel, but then have lots and lots of babies and overwhelm the Jews and then the state of Israel will be an Arab country. I can see why Israelis fear that."

But everything is negotiable.

"When Palestinian West Bank President Mahmoud Abbas says — no way will we agree it's a Jewish state — you will probably scratch your head and say why is he saying no way?" Raviv said.

"In my opinion, it's because at a later stage he will probably give in on that.'



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The Obama administration believes that despite the many potential pitfalls, now is the best time to negotiate an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, according to Dan Raviv, a national correspondent for CBS News.
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