What’s Stopping the Peace?


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Despite earnest efforts by American President Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian President Abbas, it will be extremely difficult for a final peaceful resolution to be achieved between Israel and the Palestinians in the near future.  The major obstacle to peace is the international community led by the United Nations.  The international community has emboldened Arab leaders into believing that Israel can be delegitimated and weakened through international pressure, and that if the Palestinians hold out long enough, they can achieve their ultimate goal:  Namely to end Israel’s existence as a Jewish state accepted by the international community.

This was made plain by a statement issued this week from Damascus and signed not only by Hamas but by several secular Palestinian groups that had previously favored direct talks.  The current position of these groups is to oppose negotiations and wait for Israel to be isolated even further.  Here is the way the statement put it:  “Insisting on direct talks throws a lifeline to Israel as its isolation deepens… A return to direct talks serves the US and Zionist aim to liquidate the national rights of the Palestinian people.”  By “the national rights of the Palestinian people,” the groups that signed the statement mean the right of Palestinians to “return” to what is now Israel and to turn it into yet another Muslim-Arab state.  Hamas leader Khaled Meshall praised the meeting that produced this negative statement as “exceptional,” because it united eleven disparate groups, some religious, others secular, that he claims represent a majority of the Palestinians.

Why negotiate from a position of relative weakness, the signers of the statement ask rhetorically, when the international community is strengthening the position of the Palestinians, while weakening Israel?  Delay, it is believed, will help the Palestinians get a better deal, perhaps even preserving their so-called right of return–a “right” no Israeli government could ever accept.

Even the more moderate Palestinian Authority, led by Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, is escalating its demands from what it sees as an increasingly isolated Israel.  It is now demanding more than what it was offered by President Clinton and then Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 2000-2001.  And it is offering considerably less in return.  Back then, the Palestinian Authority could have offered Israel real peace on all of its borders.  Today it can offer peace only on Israel’s eastern border with the West Bank.  Peace with the Palestinian Authority will not bring peace with Hamas on Israel’s southwestern border with Gaza.  Nor will it bring peace on its northern border with Lebanon, which is now controlled by Hezbollah, a proxy for Iran.  And speaking of Iran, the virulently anti-Israel regime which now controls that country is the 800 lb gorilla in the room.

On a recent month long visit to Israel, I met with every Israeli political and military leader.  During the course of our many hours of discussion, the issue of the Palestinians was clearly secondary to the threat posed by a nuclear armed Iran.  Unless that threat is eliminated, or considerably delayed, many Israelis believe that they have little to gain from a partial peace with the group that threatens them least, namely the Palestinian Authority.  And they have something to lose, because peace with the Palestinian Authority will require the dismantling of most West Bank settlements.  This will not be easy for Israel to bring about, because there will be hostile resistance from at least some of the settlers.  The vast majority of Israelis support the dismantling of the settlements, even if it requires civil turmoil, but only if they get real peace in return.

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  • Lary9

    I get the 'Stratego' board analysis. So is there any chance for anything resembling peace in the middle east or is Israel compelled to just stay perpetually mobilized on all fronts?

  • badaboo

    Well , the arab dictators and demagogues , have been joined by their religious equivelants , and have thoroughly indoctrinated their masses , and they ,have done the same to their children in addition .
    This should surprise no one , since it is approved and licensed in religious dogma .
    So yes , Israel ,soley for the sake of it's survival , has and will remain perpetually mobilized , atleast for the forseeable future .

  • seadog1946

    The creation of a sovereign Palestinian state will eventually occur when it's borders are clearly defined, marked and controlled by Palestinian border police/guards. The Israelis living in the West Bank "settlements" will have to make a difficult choice… stay, without IDF support or vote with their feet and re-settle in Israel.

  • badaboo

    btw , Alan's closing sentence is all telling – "real peace in return " ….indeed ! As far as Hamas , Fatah/P.A. , Hizbolla , there is no such thing , but only Hudna -temporary peace until enough stregnth is gained to ddestroy the State of Israel .
    THIS is no secret, as it is proclaimed publicly amongst arabs and muslims , and is stated quite clearly in the Palestinian National Charter , The Hamas Charter and the Hizbolla Proclaimation .

  • Beverley

    There is a wonderful article on/about Israel called "The Soon Coming Fate of Israel's Near Neighbors." It is taken from Psalm 83 read until part 3. It is great for Jews and Christians if this does not explain what is happening in and around Israel … nothing will. http://www.moriel.org/MorielArchive/index.php/teachings/... I would love to hear what some of you think.

    • johnnywood

      Very interesting. I would say that you have stumbled onto something. Time to look up for your redemption draws nigh.

  • Johanne

    Maybe I am naive – but I don't get the voting patterns in the socalled west bank – isn't it clear to the palestinians that should they get their own state there, all the businesses would disappear, their jobs and livelihood, they would live under dictatorship, under these horrid conditions that muslims flee from, migrate to the West to avoid….

    wouldn't prolonged calm in the west bank make people want the western lifestyle which is right within their grasp with another kind of deal with Israel, and stop supporting these terrorist gangs they tend to elect? I just don't get it…would be very happy with explanation…

    • traeh

      It's called a totalitarian mindset rooted in the example of Muhammad. Totalitarianism, especially religious totalitarianism, is fanatical and full of hatred toward outsiders. Particularly is this true of the Islamic kind of totalitarianism.

  • spinoneone

    All of the discussion of the PLO/PA/Hamas relationship with Israel leaves out the elephant in the dark: Iran. The Iranians are looking for: 1) hegemony in the Persian Gulf; 2) at least indirect control of Iraq; 3) destabilization of any and all Sunni Arab governments; and, 4) giving the U.S. a black eye anywhere and every where it can.

    While the people of the West Bank enjoy some freedom, both economic and political, they are, nevertheless, pawns in a game between the fundamentalist strains of both Shi'ia and Sunni Islam. Iran will, I believe, eventually precipitate a war with the Sunnis. That will engulf the Gulf, Saudi Arabia, and may extend much further. Why? The story of the scorpion and the frog originated in the Middle East. Peace without power does not appeal to the theocrats in either sect. Remember, the three oldest professions in the world are priest, politician, and prostitute.

    • Beverley

      These are the players of the next great war. They feel emboldened and have lofty ambitions. They aspire to annihilate God's chosen people, to reverse God's EDICT that brought Israel back to the land, that they seek to take for themselves and in the name of their false god Allah. Taken from http://www.moriel.org/MorielArchive/index.php/teachings/...

  • badaboo

    The inculcated hatred of Israel and Jews ,by the palestinians ,and surrounding nations, overides any logical considerations for a better life , freedom , or jobs . This is the ILLOGIC of blind hatred .
    You will not understand it , nor can you reason with it .Blind hatred will pursue it's obsession , even to it's own detriment and utter destruction .
    Understand THAT , and you will understand WHY , there will be no peace .

    • Beverley

      Nothing has changed read Psalm 83.

  • George

    The Palestinians are merely Islam's useful idiots. The doctrine and prospect for "peace" is embedded in their religion, and written on their mental walls. Our idea that "all men are created equal" is contrary to Islam's concepts:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=6beh0aCEznkC&amp

  • aspacia

    Yes! Just read the incitement against Jews they teach their children. There will never be peace until one side annihilates the other, and I hope Israel wins, seized control of Gaza and the West Banks and expels all Muslim unless they sign an oath of allegiance to Israel

  • M. Needle

    The UN could straighten out the people in Gaza and the Paliestine Refugees in the West Bank by reducing the welfare payments that are inflated by the Palestinians. Let them receive aid that the refugees in Africa are receiving and them see how fast they will go to the Peace Talks.

  • Dina

    Israel exists not just because of religion, thanx for wishes though…

  • Eric

    What a great article, I found this to be quite an enjoyable read.
    Baltimore chiropractor

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