Israeli President Shimon Peres, the primary proponent of Israel's land-for-peace process with the Palestinian Authority, very pragmatically announced at a dinner party last weekend that he no longer believes a genuine peace can be achieved.
Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper reported that Peres made the assessment during a dinner party at Defense Minister Ehud Barak's Tel Aviv home last Saturday.
According to the newspaper, as the meal came to an end, Jordanian Ambassador to Israel Ali Ayed got into an argument with another Israeli guest after the latter stated that Israel could not reach a final status peace agreement with the regime of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
As the debate grew more heated, Peres jumped in and, to everyone's surprise, agreed that Abbas' weakness and inability to implement any of his security commitments made reaching a peace deal leading to the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian Arab state impossible.
Pointing to the situation in Gaza, Peres reminded those gathered that the last time Israel fully surrendered territory to Abbas, his Hamas rivals quickly took over and turned the area into a base for increased violence against the Jewish state.