Opinion: Ok John, Now What?

More of the same for the Palestinians. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Standing still – more of the same for the Palestinians. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The latest effort by US Secretary of State John Kerry to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians looks to end in failure. And if this AFP report is right, and the Palestinian leadership rejected the compromise agreed upon between Kerry and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, then this effort won’t go anywhere any time soon.

Kerry spent long hours with the Palestinian leadership, and it brought no results. Of course the pressure and the blame is being laid on Israel. Yet it is the Palestinians who truly undercut themselves and deserve to be shamed.

The entire concept of peace talks is based on compromise, and the Palestinians seem incapable of doing that. Abbas stonewalls and makes high demands for even restarting negotiations. Then, when Abbas finally cracks daylight and finds a door to reach a deal, his own political party shuts him down.

Remember that this proposal wasn’t even officially agreed upon by Israel. Kerry was just trying to find something he thought both sides could accept. But even the mediator’s best efforts weren’t good enough.

If the Palestinians can’t accept a plan presented by the US and approved by Abbas himself, how will they ever accept a deal from Israel? The entire process is doomed even before the start.

G-d gave territory to His people, and it’s not theirs to just hand over. There are other alternatives to a land for peace strategy that has not yet proven lasting success. In fact, most of the time that policy has resulted in greater problems (see Gaza, Hamas).

Israel shouldn’t undermine their own security and set themselves up for a future of terrorism. They have to make stands. And they should not be the ones pressured, blamed or sanctioned for not capitulating. That’s not peace; that’s surrender.

So the only hope for peace in the Middle East? That the Palestinian leadership change. Maybe a revolution is the best thing that could happen there.

In the meantime, expect that the only thing moving up in the Israel-Palestinian conflict will be Kerry’s frequent flyer points.

(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, July 19, 2013)

What do you think?