Dr. Ian Lustick, professor of political science
University of Pennsylvania
Author of "Trapped in the War on Terror"
Consultant on Middle East affairs and national security for every White House administration since President Carter.
"The joint statement issued by the United States, Israel and the Palestinians is considerably less than would be necessary to begin a successful process of negotiations, but it is somewhat more than what was expected, especially in light of the political weakness of a deeply divided Israeli government and a splintered Palestinian Authority barely able to survive the onslaught of Hamas and the Palestinian despair and anger that underlay Hamas's success.
President Bush and the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority reaffirmed that the only basis for negotiations is the vision of two equal states, one a homeland for the Jewish people and the other a homeland for the Palestinian people. It is significant that Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas have agreed to meet every two weeks as a means of sustaining momentum. If these meetings do occur it will be a sign that this conference may have accomplished more than the photo-op that I and so many other experts assumed it would be."