Israel News | Zionism Israel Center | Zionism History | Zionism Definitions | ZioNation | Forum | Zionism FAQ | Maps| Edit

Monday, January 8, 2007

Time to admit failure

Time to admit failure
By Danny Rubinstein

It may already be too late for Israelis and Palestinians to be able to reach an agreement using the present format. The methods attempted by the sides thus far, and which for a moment seemed as if they were about to succeed, have failed. The peace process that began with the shake-up created by the first intifada almost 20 years ago has apparently reached the end of the road.
Many Palestinians, and many Israelis as well, estimate that the present period is among the worst in the history of the conflict in this land. The violent struggle between Fatah and Hamas is not good for Israel. Palestinian spokesmen reject out of hand any attempt to describe their situation as a civil war. Some say it is "a war of organizations," which is a more accurate description. Whatever the case, after the extensive coverage of the meeting between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), two weeks ago, one of the Palestinian journalists declared that it is now clear to him that on one subject there is no difference of opinion among the rival Palestinian groups: They all agree that the State of Israel does not want peace.
The result of the Olmert-Abu Mazen meeting served the Palestinian spokesmen as excellent proof of that. There was no release of Palestinian prisoners. There was no easing of restrictions at the checkpoints. There were, rather, an announcement (which was prominently publicized in the Arab media) of the establishment of a new settlement in the northern Jordan Valley, and a military raid on Ramallah in which Arab non-combatants were killed.
In hindsight, we can point to one of the reasons for the painful failure of the peace process. The method of working toward an arrangement in stages, without a decision being made a priori on the final goal, did not work. The problem was not in the stages, but in where they were meant to be heading. Therefore, in every stage of the diplomatic process, each side tried to improve its positions, in anticipation of both the next stage and the final goal that suited it.
Take, for example, the issue of Jerusalem. Because there was no agreement in principle as to what the final status of Jerusalem should be, successive Israeli governments made every effort to reinforce the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem. The Palestinians, for their part, tried to block this and to establish a political presence of their own in the city. Israeli governments built Jewish neighborhoods in the east of the city and expelled Arabs by denying them their right to live in the city. The PA demonstrated opposition. They called it "ethnic cleansing." They operated national institutions such as the Orient House, and late PA chair Yasser Arafat called for a million shaheeds to march on Jerusalem.
The result was that, on the issue of Jerusalem, as on other issues, instead of there being progress toward a compromise, there was a retreat. The conflict only deepened. Thus the period that followed the agreement about the stages of the diplomatic process turned out to be even worse than the period when there was no agreement at all.
The conclusion is clear. We must first of all decide between us on all the goals of the final-status agreement, and only then conduct negotiations over how to achieve them. We should agree, first of all, for example, that a Palestinian capital will be established in East Jerusalem, and only afterward should we conduct negotiations over how that will be accomplished, in light of the conditions and the reality that exists in the city. Such a diplomatic course may not suit the ideological leadership of Hamas, but it certainly does suit most of the Hamas electorate, who are prepared for an agreement, but have rejected the previous diplomatic path of the Oslo Accords and the present one of the road map.
Hamas leader Khaled Meshal said a few days ago that his movement is not blocking any diplomatic path - for the simple reason that such a path does not even exist at present. He is right. In order for such a path to exist, there has to be much more than concern on the Israeli side for the Palestinian "fabric of life" (the catchphrase of the Israeli defense establishment for the easing of restrictions) and promises to dismantle settlement outposts. We have to agree on the end of the process, in which a Palestinian state will be established within amended borders of the 1967 cease-fire lines, with its capital in East Jerusalem. Without that there will be nothing.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe to
email newsletter for this site and others

Powered by

Feedblitz subcription
To this Blog only

You can receive our articles by e-mail. For a free subscription, please enter your e-mail address:

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Web Logs & Sites

This Site

Zionism & Israel
Zionation Web Log
IMO Web Log (Dutch)

ZI Group
Zionism-Israel Pages
Israël-Palestina.Info (Dutch & English)
Israƫl in de Media
MidEastWeb Middle East News and Views
MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log

Brave Zionism
Israel: Like this, as if
Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog

Friends and Partners
EinNews Israel
Israel Facts
Israel Proud Adam Holland
Middle East Analysis
Irene Lancaster's Diary
Middle East Analysis
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israel Facts (NL)
Cynthia's Israel Adventure
Jeff Weintraub Commentaries and controversies
Meretz USA Weblog
Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers
Simply Jews
Fresno Zionism
Anti-Racist Blog
Sharona's Week
Z-Word Blog
Jewish State
Take A Pen - Israel Advocacy
Zionism on the Web
ZOTW's Zionism and Israel News
Zionism On The Web News
ZOTW's Blogs
Christian Attitudes
Dr Ginosar Recalls
Questions: Zionism anti-Zionism Israel & Palestine
Southern Wolf
Peace With Realism
Sanda's Place
Liberal for Israel
Realistic Dove
Blue Truth
Point of no Return
Christians Standing With Israel
Christians Standing With Israel - Blog

Encylopedic Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
Middle East Encyclopedia
Zionism and its Impact
Zionism & the creation of Israel
Zionism - Issues & answers
Maps of Israel
Christian Zionism Resources
Christian Zionism
Albert Einstein
Gaza & the Qassam Victims of Sderot
Zionist Quotes
Six Day War
Jew Hatred
Learn Hebrew
Arab-Israeli Conflict
International Zionism

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Israel Boycott
Boycott Israel?
Amnesty International Report on Gaza War
Boycott Israel?
Dutch Newspaper Reporting: A Study of NRC Handelsblad
Hamas (Dutch)
Dries van Agt (Dutch)
Isfake lobby

At Zionism On the Web
Articles on Zionism
Anti-Zionism Information Center
Academic boycott of Israel Resource Center
The anti-Israel Hackers
Antisemitism Information Center
Zionism Israel and Apartheid
Middle East, Peace and War
The Palestine state
ZOTW Expert Search
ZOTW Forum

Judaica & Israel Gifts
Jewish Gifts: Judaica:
Ahava Products

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

RSS V 1.0

International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory