Should the “peace process” be pursued?

By Ted Belman

I usually like what Gerald Steinberg writes but this time I was very disappointed. His recent article A realistic strategy for peace should have replaced “realistic” with “unrealistic”.

After noting “Both the Syrian and Palestinian talk of peace also appears to be designed to buy time for rebuilding military and terror forces for the next round of attacks against Israel.”, he complains “But this narrow logic leaves no room for diplomacy or hope for a better future…. and argues “And the rest of the world – particularly Europe, and to some degree, also the US – desperately wants to see progress towards a settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

Apparantly “Israeli peace initiatives based on the establishment of an interim Palestinian state, although probably unrealistic, will provide enough motion to prevent another rash of unrealistic European plans and pressure for dangerous Israeli concessions.” but will it? And what pray tell does an interim Palestinian state accomplish? Why is that preferable?

THE SUDDEN spike in the peace rhetoric of “moderate” Sunni Arab regimes, including Egypt’s military rulers, the Saudi royal family and their counterparts around the Gulf are also based on self-interest. Their survival is linked to restoring a political framework in which radical Islamist groups such as Hamas and Hizbullah are contained. With the implosion in Iraq and the growing threat from Iran as a Shi’ite superpower, these Arab leaders have belatedly realized the need for cooperation with Israel to achieve stability. Pragmatic steps to avoid revolution, rather than a sudden ideological change acknowledging Israel’s right to exist, provide the basis for these peace proposals. But they are still too important to dismiss out of hand.

Why? Because he has wane hope.

For Israel’s part, while skepticism would be advised, particularly after the catastrophic end of the Oslo “peace process,” there is also an argument to be made for measures that might reduce the level of conflict for more than a few months. Some Palestinians may well agree with President Mahmoud Abbas that the cost of terrorism is too high, and that Israel is not going to disappear, regardless of these attacks. This is the time for them to be seen and heard, and for Israelis to listen. Competent leaders may yet emerge to take the Palestinian people beyond the ideology of rejectionism, victimization and violence that has gotten them nowhere in 60 years.

Give me a break!!

The rest of the article supports a flexible Saudi Plan providing Israel is satisfied that they mean it. But it is the Saudi Plan nevertheless.

January 7, 2007 | 1 Comment »

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1 Comment / 1 Comment

  1. I’m with you Ted, except I never liked what Gerald Steinberg said, so there was no disappointment for me, just the same old crud

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