Like most Israelis, I am an eternal optimist. Living
day to day in our neighborhood and faced with continued threats to our
legitimacy and even our existence, what choice do we have? That being said, I
am extremely pessimistic about the latest round of peace talks that have been initiated
in Washington, DC. There is no shortage of reasons why I should be skeptical,
but what worries me most are the personalities involved in these talks and the
faulty premises they represent.
Click photo to download. Caption: Yitzhak Rabin, Bill Clinton, and Yasser Arafat at the signing of the Oslo Accords on Sept. 13, 1993. In an op-ed for JNS.org, Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon wrote of renewed Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations, “Almost 20 years after Yitzhak Rabin attempted to conjure arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat into a worthy partner for peace, it seems that we have not learned the lessons from the past.” Credit: Vince Musi/The White House.
Almost 20 years after the late Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin attempted to conjure arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat into a worthy
partner for peace, it seems that we have not learned the lessons from the past.
As the “peace process” continued to hit bumps along the way, Israel and our
American allies attempted many different variations which all led to the same
failed result. We initiated staged withdrawals and implemented unilateral
disengagements. At times we included the Europeans and our Arab neighbors in
the process, while at key points we negotiated secretly without any third party
involvement. The European Union was used to monitor border crossings, and donor
countries were asked to invest in an “economic peace.” Let us be brutally
frank: None of this worked in changing the dynamics of the conflict or
convincing the Palestinians to completely abandon hatred and violence and
recognize that the Jewish State is here to stay.
Perhaps the problem with Israeli-Palestinian
conflict negotiations lies not with the process, but with the people involved
in representing the parties at the table. In most professions, when one fails
at his job and leaves the project in question in chaos and complete disarray,
he is most definitely not asked to keep working on the task at hand. Again and
again and again. In fact, he is usually fired. Not so when it comes to the “peace
Click photo to download. Caption: Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, pictured, writes on the renewed Israeli-Palestinian conflict talks for JNS.org. Credit: Darko via Wikimedia Commons.