by Evelyn Gordon
2nd part of 2
YET this desperate quest for peace also failed to win
In fact, though, it became clear almost immediately after the
Nor did this pattern change after Mahmoud Abbas replaced Arafat in 2004. Even during Abbas's year in sole control of the PA, before Hamas triumphed in the Palestinian elections in 2006, terror continued. According to the Intelligence and
Equally important, however, is that Palestinian negotiating positions preclude any deal. While it was initially plausible to believe that these positions would eventually moderate, a decade and a half with no movement whatsoever has proved otherwise. No Israeli government, for instance, could sign a deal forfeiting all Israeli connection to the
Yet rather than stating clearly that peace is not and never will be possible unless the Palestinians end terror and stop insisting that any deal result in the Jewish state's eradication, Israeli prime ministers never stopped assuring their fellow citizens and the world that a deal was possible. It began with Yitzhak Rabin, who instead of acknowledging that the upsurge in terror proved
In his first go-round as prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu continued the illusion: he not only campaigned in 1996 on a slogan of bringing "peace with security," again implying that peace was possible, but he continued negotiating with, and ceding territory to, Arafat. These would have been reasonable moves in the context of a viable peace process, but would be senseless if peace were actually unachievable and territorial concessions only produced more terror. To the uninformed, the obvious conclusion was that peace was achievable — in which case Netanyahu's visible distaste for both negotiations and concessions would certainly be an impediment.
Similarly, when Palestinians responded to Prime Minister Ehud Barak's July 2000 offer with the second intifada, Barak did not declare peace unachievable; he went to Washington and Taba and offered additional concessions. Again, the implication was that he still thought peace was possible if he offered enough — so if peace remained elusive, the fault must lie with
American and European leaders are also guilty of endlessly proclaiming that peace is achievable, even though they know better (this knowledge explains why most European leaders are less hostile to
REVERSING the devastating damage
That is, unless its own mistakes destroy it. Right now, that is what is happening:
Evelyn Gordon is a journalist and a Jerusalem Post columnist. She lives in
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