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August 25, 2010 6:23 pm

Boiler Room Peace

avatar by Dovid Efune

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Ehud Barak and George Mitchell. Photo: Matty Stern.

I haven’t been around for that long, yet I experienced a distinct déjà vu feeling this week when I saw the headline announcing that peace talks are back on the agenda for Israelis and Palestinian Arabs.

Follow up headlines seemed to confirm what many had already assumed; namely that both Abbas and Netanyahu were in on this game just to pander to the U.S. administration, particularly President Obama who seems quite certain that the clock of history was re-set the moment he stepped foot into the Oval Office.

Netanyahu cautioned that security would come first for him, while Abbas stipulated that if the settlement freeze is not extended he would back out of the talks. Meanwhile the Quartet proclaimed that talks could be wrapped within a year.

For Abbas, the settlement freeze is one of many excuses, and for Netanyahu security is one of many concerns. This scenario had played out over and over again, and we all know how it ends. Few have stopped to ask why, and whilst there are many theoretical answers, what is most baffling, is how can the leaders of the free world dive back into the same routine without understanding the crux of past failures?

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One would think that only by analyzing the failure of earlier attempts at reaching an agreement can the powers that be truly understand what is necessary to proceed for the future. An enquiry, conducted by a third independent party, would have to be brutal, intricate, far reaching and most of all intellectually honest. It seems that in the absence of such a fact finding commission, this whole exercise is a futile waste of time.

If such an investigation were to be launched, I would be willing to wager that the results would be as follows:

In rather straightforward terms, the Palestinian Arabs would like to see the complete dissolution of the State of Israel. It is stated in one way or another in every single Palestinian constitutional mandate and is constantly reinforced by statements coming from high ranking PA officials. Of course the education of Palestinian Arab children in the West Bank and Gaza strip is also a strong indication of what Palestinian Arab aspirations for the future entail, and they are certainly not being taught about reconciliation in any form.

Israel on the other hand is not prepared to concede to this, and will do everything in its power to guarantee the safety and security of her citizens.

The result: Stalemate

The cycle has now been referred to as ‘The false religion of peace,’ as administration after administration unquestionably commit to its implementation without challenging the fundamental premises and assumptions.

Is it possible that all of the world’s greatest political powers, the UN, the EU, Russia and the US have no plan B for peace in the Middle East? Is there no alternate solution? How many times must they fail at the same endeavors before considering that there may be some fundamental inadequacies with their boiler room policies?

The concerned Israeli and Palestinian Arab public are becoming more and more disillusioned and faith in the talks is minimal. People want answers, and not more of the same.

Especially as it seems that every round of failed talks results in a weaker Israel, strengthening and emboldening Israel’s enemies, it is time to screw on our thinking caps and present new options.

The Author is the director of the Algemeiner Journal and the GJCF and can be e-mailed at defune@gjcf.com

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