Well, it's too early to say that the pessimists were wrong, however, initial indications are that the first days of talks between Netanyahu and Abbas (joined by other leaders) went well. Both Netanyahu and Abbas gave positive speeches, and both agreed to meet again in two weeks, and then every two weeks after that in order to reach an agreement. The first goal is to reach a framework agreement. There are many obstacles, including an expected terror campaign by Hamas but both Netanyahu and Abbas have both pledged not to allow Hamas to stop them with terror attacks
Israeli political observors commented that, at least from the speeches, this was "a different Netanyahu, one that no one had seen before. For weeks the general consensus has been that there were only two people who truly knew Netanyahu's intentions; himself and Barak. We are still not aware of exactly what he has said, but it is clear Netanyahu is willing to take positions which he would have been the vocal opponent of others, had they taken those positions.
One indication of the concessions Netanyhu is wiling to make can be seen in an article written, followed by an interview given today by one of the original settlers of Ofra. In it he states that the settlers need to prepare for the time they will no longer be living under Israeli sovereignty. There are many obstacles ahead, including how to get past the September 26th deadline when the settlement freeze ends. For now, I remain cautiously optimistic