7 reasons to be optimistic about Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

Experts are understandably skeptical about success for the renewed peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. But key conditions and circumstances are different than in the past. Here are seven reasons to be optimistic about the latest round of Mideast peace talks.

6. Shifts in the Arab world

The Arab world, which in the past has acted as a brake on Palestinians, constraining their ability to make concessions, is now fully behind the peace effort. The Arab League has pledged to recognize Israel if there is a deal and to help bolster the Palestinian economy.

Some Arab players who in the past could have caused problems, such as Syria, are effectively neutralized. Hamas has been weakened by the removal of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the military crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood, which is closely connected to the Islamic fundamentalist group in Gaza. If the talks show promise, Hamas may be forced to reconcile with Abbas and seek a political role in a future Palestinian state in order to remain relevant.

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