Why "a Little More Work" Won't Do It, Mr. Kerry

(Times of Israel) David Horovitz - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is investing immense personal energy and time, and U.S. diplomatic prestige, in trying to get Netanyahu and Abbas merely to the starting point of a path that has already been walked many times before. But the root of the unavoidable failure of any resumed talks lies primarily with the Palestinians. Yasser Arafat bequeathed his people the toxic narrative that there is no Jewish sovereign legitimacy in this part of the world, and that Palestinian steadfastness would ultimately see the Jewish colonialists sent back to Europe. Abbas has allowed that false narrative to fester, including in his schools and his media, rather than energetically disseminating a more accurate picture of competing, legitimate claims, requiring conciliation and compromise. Where the U.S. should be placing its energies, and its leverage, and its money, is in encouraging those frameworks that will create a climate in which the Palestinians actually recognize an interest in making true peace on terms that do not leave Israel vulnerable to military threat. The U.S. should be supporting educational programs, and grass-roots interactions, and media channels that offer an honest perspective on the history of our conflict, and that promote a mutually beneficial future of co-existence. Change the climate. Gradually create an atmosphere of mutual respect, and a shared, fervent desire for an accommodation. Then you won't have to be cajoling reluctant leaders back to the peace table. The writer is the founding editor of The Times of Israel.

2013-07-02 00:00:00

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