Indyk: Talks failed due to 'skepticism' between Israelis, Palestinians
Middle East peace envoy resigns from post 'battered but unbowed'; mourns Israeli view of two-state solution as un-necessary.
A week after Martin Indyk announced his resignation from his post as US Middle East peace envoy he spoke in an interview with the New York Times in which he blamed the most recent failure of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians on "distrust" and "skepticism" between the two peoples.
"There's so much water under the bridge... the difficulties we faced were far more because of the 20 years of distrust that built up," said Indyk.
The former Middle East envoy announced his resignation via twitter where he said that he was "battered but unbowed" after the long and unfruitful political struggle for peace between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Martin Indyk (left) with US Secretary of State John Kerry (right). (Photo: AP)
Indyk said that he and US Secretary of State John Kerry and had approached the peace process with optimism as relations between Israeli and Palestinians seemed to be improving at the two leaders were judged to be open to peace.
"Both sides said that with all the turmoil around us, we should try to make peace," said Indyk, but noted that over the course of talks it became more and more evident that, "the sense of urgency wasn't there on either side."
"The sense that they have to do it because otherwise they would be overthrown or their government would fall didn't happen. It was just the opposite," said Indyk.
The New York Times reported that the official had retained his high level security clearance and that if talks were to begin again, he would be on a plane back to the Middle East to work out a peace.
Indyk told interviewers that the latest escalation in tensions in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza has served to strengthen his belief that "Without a resolution of the conflict, there is no sustainable status quo."
He expressed sadness that, according to him, Israeli policy and attitude has slowly moved away from viewing the two-state solution as necessary. For Israelis, he told the New York Times, "The Palestinians have become ghosts."
Indyk said that this feeling was confirmed by what he called the most meaningful personal moment during the nine months of talks when the two sides failed to come to an agreement to extend discussions past their deadline.
The Palestinian Director of Intelligence, Majid Faraj, reportedly addressed his Israeli counterparts from across the table and said, "You just don't see us."