by Dr. Haim Shine
One could feel sorry for the grieving Israeli Left in the wake of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' U.N. General Assembly speech.
In his extreme, fallacious and tempestuous address, Abbas proved to every Israeli that the Left's delusion that he was a partner for peace had no basis in reality. In recent years, opposition leaders and even some government ministers have made great efforts to market Abbas as the last hope for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, before Hamas and other terrorist groups take over Judea and Samaria.
However, over the weekend, it became clear that this was a marketing campaign for a defective product. From the Israeli Right, there were expressions of joy, and rightly so, as the removal of doubt is a reason for rejoicing. Abbas lifted his mask of hypocrisy and said what he truly believed. But the Right's happiness is not something the Left is ready to accept yet. The Left is licking its war wounds and suffering severe withdrawal pains.
It is time for leftists to do some soul-searching and realize that the conviction they have held for decades -- that we are on the brink of peace, after which we will all live together in harmony -- was wishful thinking disconnected from reality.
At Harvard University, students studying negotiation are taught there are two types conflicts -- rights-based conflicts and interests-based conflicts. An interests-based conflict can be resolved by mediation. But in rights-based conflicts, mediation is ineffective.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is about rights. The center of the dispute is the question of whether or not Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state. Honest Palestinians who are not putting on a show for anyone will say Israel does not have this right.
On the other side, we Israelis, who just want to live our lives, say we have no other country and it is our right to live in security in our homeland. There is no political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The winner will be the side with the most patience, resolve and willingness to sacrifice for survival.
Israeli-Palestinian peace will come when the Palestinians reach the conclusion that they should replace their old worn disk and recognize the fact that, in a rights-based conflict, they have no chance to win, because the Jews have no alternative, so it would be best just to discuss quality of life.
Until then, we must expect even leftists to join us in a united front, with one mind and one heart, against the Iranian threat and the dangers posed by terrorist forces which are gaining strength around us. By doing so, leftists would be making a real contribution to promoting the chances of peace in the future.
Dr. Haim Shine
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