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Israel's Short-sighted Opposition to Palestinian Statehood Is Dragging Down Its Economy

Israel is missing historic opportunity to lead a regional economic renaissance.

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Despite that sizable American subsidy, still the Israeli economy is a mess. Rather than enabling the Netanyahu government’s bungling of both the domestic economy and relations with the Palestinians, the US government should push the Israelis to get more serious about negotiating over a two-state solution. Israeli foot-dragging over Hamas not recognizing Israel's right to exist might seem justified, but it really just provides a fig leaf over the failures of Israel’s own short-sighted leaders. After all, nothing will undermine Hamas’ credibility more than making gains in bilateral negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

The momentum of the Arab Spring is still gaining velocity, from Libya to Syria, but the US and Israel are about to miss another historic opportunity. If Nixon could go to China, then Netanyahu should be able to go to the Palestinians and say, "Go to the UN. We will stand with you and support your petition." And then all parties should return in earnest to the negotiation table to settle outstanding claims, inspired by the recognition that an Arab Spring combined with an Israeli Spring would be a watershed moment for this still young 21st century.

Steven Hill is a political writer and columnist whose latest book is "Europe's Promise: Why the European Way is the Best Hope in an Insecure Age" Follow him on Twitter: .

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