Ask for more than you really need. Offer less than you’re really willing to give up. Meet somewhere in the middle.
This timeless negotiating strategy works because it’s what everyone expects. When one side unilaterally deviates from this norm, as I do whenever purchasing a new vehicle, the experience is very frustrating. Rather than low-balling an offer and then moving towards a middle ground, I state exactly what I am willing to pay. The last two times I did this, I did indeed leave with the exact deal that I set out to strike, paying exactly what my initial offer had been; however, I believe it may have actually taken longer to accomplish than if I had gone in with a lower offer and then moved to the middle.
What do the Israelis and the Palestinians actually want their end result to look like? Only they know. And certain Israelis most certainly have a different result in mind than do other Israelis; likewise with the Palestinians. If either side or, ideally, each side, knew exactly what the other would actually agree to, then a deal could be struck. But neither side knows what those magical requirements are. I believe that Netanyahu and Abbas are actually getting familiar enough with one another to sense what it is that the other side would actually accept in terms of a deal for a Palestinian state. The more time they spend together, and the closer they get, the tougher the competing factions on each side will seek to make the talks. There will be blatant attempts at sabotage. If a deal looks imminent, virtually assured, then an assassination attempt may actually be made.
They are so close, one can almost taste an agreement. Let’s hope one gets done sooner than later, so that we can all see what the seeds of peace in the Middle East will allow the peoples of the world to harvest.