By: Daniel Pipes
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Diplomacy aiming to shut down the Arab-Israeli conflict is premature until Palestinians give up one addiction.
When Barack Obama announced in June 2009 about Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy, "I'm confident that if we stick with it, having started early, that we can make some serious progress this year," he displayed a touching, if naïve optimism.
Indeed, his determination fits a well-established pattern of determination by politicians to "solve" the Arab-Israeli conflict; there were fourteen U.S. government initiatives just during the two George W. Bush administrations. Might this time be different? Will trying harder or being more clever end the conflict?
No, there is no chance whatever of this effort working.
Without looking at the specifics of the Obama approach — which are in themselves problematic — I shall argue three points: that past Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have failed; that their failure resulted from an Israeli illusion about avoiding war; and that Washington should urge Jerusalem to forego negotiations and return instead to its earlier and more successful policy of fighting for victory.
Diplomacy aiming to shut down the Arab-Israeli conflict is premature until Palestinians give up their anti-Zionism. When that happy moment arrives, negotiations can re-open and take up anew the Oslo issues — borders, resources, armaments, sanctities, residential rights. But that is years or decades away. In the meantime, an ally needs to win.
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