New York Times’ Thomas Friedman Says Peace Process Is Dead
The Israeli-Palestinian peace process “is dead,” declared longtime New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman in a piece about the Middle East on Thursday.
“The next US president will have to deal with an Israel determined to permanently occupy all the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, including where 2.5 million West Bank Palestinians live,” he wrote, referring to the West Bank, or what the Israeli authorities refer to as Judea and Samaria.
In pondering who killed the said peace process, Friedman suggested everyone from right-wing settlers — “able to sabotage any Israeli politician or army officer who opposed them” — to the Gaza-ruling terror group Hamas, which made a “laughingstock of Israeli peace advocates” through its devotion of resources to means of violent resistance to Israel, rather than somehow turning “Gaza into Singapore.”
In addition to Hamas, Friedman also blamed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for sacking the PA prime minister, Salam Fayyad, who Friedman said was committed to institution-building and fighting corruption.
He also blamed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, now into his third consecutive term, “whose lust to hold onto his seat of power is only surpassed by his lack of imagination to find a secure way to separate from the Palestinians… Bibi won: He’s now a historic figure — the founding father of the one-state solution.”
“They all killed the two-state solution,” Friedman wrote, going on to predict, “Let the one-state era begin. It will involve a steady low-grade civil war between Palestinians and Israelis and a growing Israeli isolation in Europe and on college campuses that the next US president will have to navigate.”
The last US attempt to restart the peace process was Secretary of State John Kerry’s initiative leading to nine months of negotiations between Israel and the PA, but those efforts ended without results and the 2014 Gaza war erupted soon after.