So the President gave (another) speech, this time on Peace in the Middle East. How many times have Presidents, Democratic and Republican, told us that the key to peace and stability in the Middle East was the Palestinian/Israeli problem? And how many times have we seen “new initiatives” to secure peace there?
Look, brokering peace is easy when both sides want peace. But that’s not the case here. Israel wants peace. They’re a functioning society, and peace is a handmaiden to increased prosperity. The Palestinians, on the other hand, are not a functional society. Their leading political factions have made it the purpose of their existence to destroy Israel. NOT the make a Palestinian state, but to destroy the one functional society in the region.
Other regimes in the region were hunky dory with that low level conflict, as it was a handy way of distracting their people from the miserable status of their own countries and regimes.
I’m not the smartest guy in the geopolitical game, but I’m smart enough to know that the President’s new plan is just more of the same. We’ll spend money on people who hate us, and gain no traction. We’ll make no progress toward a stable political environment, and we’ll lose even further credibility with our allies, and even our opponents.
As to basing any peace on a two state scenario built around Israel’s 1967 borders, Israel is right to reject those calls out of hand. The reason Israel occupied land such as the Golan Heights is that they are strategically important. If other nations and peoples thought those lands were so important, they shouldn’t have attacked Israel from them in 1967. Israel seized that land fair and square as the spoils of war.