One aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has received more attention in recent years has been the topic of setting preconditions for negotiations. This is partially due to the Obama administration’s decision to demand a full settlement freeze–including “natural growth”–from Israel before the U.S. would throw its weight behind renewed talks.
It was poorly conceived, since prohibiting “natural growth” has no impact on borders and puts Palestinian day laborers out of work. And it didn’t do much to get negotiations going. But there is another reason preconditions should be used sparingly, and Abbas today demonstrated why.