The reality, however, is that this moment is totally artificial and purely man- made. The meeting was forced on both parties. Actually, the timing is terrible.

The big event at the White House happened the day before the Labor Day weekend. Now comes Rosh Hashanah and after that, from September 10-13, the three-day Muslim holiday called Id al Fitr, followed by Yom Kippur and Sukkot. The reality is that until October, there is no actual time to sit down.

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Clearly, there was no burning need to talk just now.

It was Obama’s personal fire that needed to be extinguished; the Middle East has been smoldering for a long time.

So where does that leave the Palestinians and the Israelis? It leaves them in an untenable situation. Nobody wants to upset Washington, nobody wants to be the first to destroy the dream.

Micah D. Halpern is a columnist and a social and political commentator. His latest book, “Thugs: How History’s Most Notorious Despots Transformed the World,” is available at Amazon.com. He maintains The Micah Report at www.micahhalpern.com.

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