February 8th, 2013
10:11 PM ET

Weekend reading

By Fareed Zakaria

Secretary of State John Kerry shouldn’t push too hard, too fast in the Middle East in search of a peace deal, argues Aaron David Miller.

“The last thing we need (or Kerry needs) is another abortive effort to get talks going,” he writes in The New Republic. “The inconvenient truth is that if you put Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas in a room tomorrow, their talks would fail galactically. The gaps on the two least contentious issues (borders and security) are large; the divide on the identity issues (Jerusalem and refugees) are yawning. What’s required now are separate discussions conducted by the U.S. – low key and quiet – not noisy enterprises generated by secretarial trips and visits to the White House. Diagnose the problem before you rush toward fixing it. Maybe you’ll have a chance of producing a better outcome.”

Anne Applebaum has a commentary looking at what the post-Communist Europe experience can tell us about the future of the Arab Spring:

In post-communist Europe, countries that faced similar problems took very different paths after electing democratic governments in 1990, argues Anne Applebaum in The National Post. “Yet some fell into economic stagnation or political turmoil while others thrived.”

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