Beyond the Cusp

July 21, 2013

Irreconcilable Differences

Very late on Friday, almost while Secretary of State Kerry was on his way to catch his flight back to the United States, Mahmoud Abbas gave his consent to resume peace talks. Since then there have been some interesting statements from both the Palestinian and Israeli sides. Palestinians have mostly claimed their presumed victory in forcing concessions from the Israelis while the Israelis have spoken of the great opportunity that has opened before them and how it was attained without granting Abbas any of his preconditions. It is nice to know that the two sides are as far apart when in agreement as they had been before their announced agreement. Of course there are probably all kinds of excitement at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue where they are laying out the grounds for the sole accomplishment which will come of this great achievement, the photo-op for President Obama which will accompany the historic handshake before the negotiations collapse once more. One would love to be more optimistic about the return to the Peace Process but the track record of these talks is far from promising.

What is needed between the Arabs and the Israelis, which is truthfully what the Palestinian-Israeli conflict represents, is not a peace process or long, drawn out talks, they need a victor. This is not a peace process as the two sides continue to be locked in an eternal struggle for ownership and complete control over the same lands. Neither side is willing or able to accept the other coexisting in the tiny space between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. These two sides more resemble a divorcing couple with the land being the house that only one of them will win the rights to in the end. The Palestinians have, along with the Arab and Muslim worlds behind them, flatly stated that even should someday come when they sign a treaty dividing the land with the Jews they intend to continue the resistance until all of Palestine has been freed. That is as simple a way of stating it is not over until one side has been vanquished and as long as one side will not be content until the other has been vanquished completely then it matters not if the other side is willing to compromise, there can be no compromise other than complete victory. Furthermore, since even should the Palestinian lose completely and Israel be recognized by even the most cynical European nation as rightfully possessing the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea along with the United Nations Security Council, the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation would not accept such a finality and the conflict would continue. The Arab-Israeli conflict will not end until wither Israel is defeated or some great change comes over humanity and nothing less will suffice.

In the meantime and before the negotiations collapse as they inevitable will let us congratulate Secretary of State Kerry for his herculean effort, indomitable perseverance and infinite patience which he displayed in forcing through this agreement even if it ends up being a one-time meeting as has been the result previously. One has to wonder if perhaps this will not win Secretary Kerry a Nobel Peace Prize and whether it will have President Obama receive a second peace award as he is prone to setting firsts and nobody has ever won two Nobel Peace Prizes or received one for their expected accomplishments after winning a Presidential race. All that remain now is the nervous period awaiting the handshake on the White House lawn, weather permitting, and the eventual point at which Palestinian President Abbas huffs and puffs his way out of the talks in a pique of anger over some invented slight all the while reminding this editorialist of the little train that couldn’t get over the hill and attain the peaceful valley beyond.

Beyond the Cusp

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