It's Monday, September 27th.
Nigel Wright, a Harvard-educated Toronto lawyer and business executive, has been named as Prime Minister Harper's Chief of Staff.
Currently, He'll take over as soon as he resigns from his current posting ... as charter member of the Toronto elite.
This is The Current.
We started this segment with a clip from President Barack Obama who makes it sound simple. But this morning, Israeli-Palestinian peace talks remain fragile. In one of the largest West Bank settlements, Ariel, building work resumed today because yesterday, Israel's ten-month freeze on the construction of new settlements expired.
Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's call for restraint, thousands of settlers took part in celebration ceremonies to mark the end of the freeze with construction equipment and balloons. The Ariel site is the only place where construction is reported to be underway this morning.
The Palestinian leadership has threatened to walk away from the negotiating table if that freeze isn't extended. And it is against that back drop that we are going in search of answers on how negotiations faced with so many obstacles might try to find common ground or compromise.
To help us with that, we were joined by two people with first-hand experience at the negotiating table.
Gabriella Blum is with the Harvard Law School's Program on Negotiation. She is a former advisor to the Israeli Defence Forces and Israel's National Security Council. And she has been involved in previous Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. She's also the author of Islands of Agreement: Managing Enduring Armed Rivalries. And Ghaith Al-Omari is the Advocacy Director at the American Task Force on Palestine. He's also served as a long-time Palestinian negotiator and as a former policy advisor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Articles: Israel Nears Breakthrough Deal on Settlements / Clinton Pushes on Core Mideast Issues / Mideast talks to proceed with caution
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