Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Peace Talks and the Kerry Document: A Predictable Ending

by Dr. Haim Shine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is learning the hard, roundabout way that 150-year-old bloody conflicts (according to narrative A, Jews versus Arabs) and thousands-of-years-old bloody conflicts (according to narrative B, Israelites versus Canaanites) cannot be solved with a sword-wielding dove.

As has been proved countless times in history, peace cannot be forced on anyone. Peace is not made through coercion; love does not develop in the brain. As was written in Kings 1: "And the Lord gave Solomon wisdom ... and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and they two made a league together." The wise man, king of Israel, understood that a ratified peace deal was only possible once peace had been achieved between those in conflict.

Whoever tries to cut a deal first and seek peace later is leading his or her people astray. There will never be peace as long as the Palestinian Arabs remain unwilling to recognize a Jewish state of Israel, end incitement and wake up from the dream of return, which, as long as Israelis value their lives, will never be fulfilled. The greatest tragedy in our region is that the sons of darkness among our neighbors are much more determined than the sons of light, hindering progress toward reconciliation and peace.

When Kerry shows early signs of dejection or desperation over his ability to make quick peace during his term, even Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman lets himself go, obsequiously complimenting Kerry's determination and longing for immediate peace. When it turns out that the Kerry document is nothing more than a collection of disputable items, a document that leaves Israeli security to advanced technology and foreign armies, even Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett will go up to the Torah in his synagogue to intone an ancient blessing in honor of U.S. President Barack Obama and the secretary of state: Give salvation to kings and miracles to a multitude of advisers. 

As always, the Israeli Left has wrapped itself in gloom, mourning the loss of the last peace deal. The Left's pessimism has accompanied the rebirth of Israel for decades. It was already present in the Brit Shalom organization, which favored binationalism, before the state was established. My advice to left-wing leaders is to save their despondence; they'll need it later on. When the Left laments and the Right builds, the future of Israel is assured for many generations to come. 

The great majority of Israeli citizens supports Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's firm and just stance on the right of Jews to security in their ancient homeland. What the leadership needs now is historical vision, beyond the endless, mundane, everyday tasks of running a complex state. Realizing the vision of reviving Israel in its land is a thousand times more important than any attempt to win favor among the international community. Nobody will ever ride Jewish people into the ground again. The reason we came home after thousands of years was to seize our own destiny's plow, refusing to hand it over to foreign hands, certainly not the European Union, which has time and again proved both its shortsightedness and its hatred for Israel and its policymakers. 

A clear sign that the Kerry drama is coming to a close is the return to the burning issue of recruiting yeshiva students to the army. When the external pressure is off, the Jews immediately relapse to internal wrangling. Maybe the time has come to turn that fighting spirit toward creativity and development. Peace between brothers should come before peace between enemies.

Dr. Haim Shine

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=7329

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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