Why Have Israelis and Palestinians Failed to Make Peace

(American Interest) Michael Mandelbaum - Israelis value security above all else, located as they are in a region filled with people, organizations, and governments that at best do not want them there and in many cases are actively trying to kill them. In the quarter-century since the Oslo Accords, Israelis and Palestinians have failed to make peace. The responsibility for that failure belongs to the Palestinians. The Palestinian entity in control of Gaza, the Islamic fundamentalist Hamas, says explicitly that it will never accept Jewish sovereignty and devotes its resources to terrorism against Israel. Its putatively moderate counterpart in the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas, has refused all offers to settle the conflict, which have included substantial territorial concessions. The PA has never put forward a counteroffer of its own. It has done nothing to build the institutions of statehood other than deploying multiple police forces that repress political opposition. It has generated vile anti-Jewish propaganda that harks back to Europe in the 1930s and has sponsored the murder of Jews by publicly praising and paying the murderers. The Palestinians have thus clearly demonstrated that they are not "a partner for peace." Assuring the Palestinians that they will pay no price - indeed that they will continue to receive generous Western political and financial support - for their unyielding and indeed violent refusal to accept the legitimacy and permanence of a Jewish state in the Middle East has helped to perpetuate the conflict. The writer is Professor Emeritus of American Foreign Policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

2019-08-27 00:00:00

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