Formerly of the State Department and a central figure in the Clinton administration's peace efforts, Dennis Ross has, so to say, finally begun to see the light or, more appropriately, the true darkness of the other side.In all humbleness, he is now at the point where I and many of my friends were, as we were emphasizing to diplomats, politicians, journalists and public personalities from abroad over a decade ago, that the so-called 'peace process' cannot succeed if it is one-sided.For example, if a central demand of Israel is "territories for peace", or in simple terms 'give back all what you rule since 1967, I always receive weird looks when I ask "what territories are the Arabs yielding up?". After all, they initiated the violence that led to the Six Days war, and the violence that continues, a war which was one of self-defense. The PLO (and we'll ignore for now the 1950s fedayeen terror).I recall a conversation on the balcony of the Menachem Begin Center with a member of the UK Mideast peace team of the Foreign Office, when I suggested almost a decade ago that for every missile/rocket fired by Arabs from Gaza, they will be told by the EU and other supporters that they will lose 50 square meters of territory. I told him that the Arabs always walk away from a negotiation situation and then demand to come back at the previous entry level whereas I would expect that they should be informed that every time you withdraw from a round of talks, rejecting the framework and conditions, they should be punished and be forced to take a step back and have to renegotiate. He smiled and indicated that if adopted, Gazans would find themselves in the sea for lack of land they will have lost. I responded, but that is the point. How else can we impress upon them that they face a loss if they do not negotiate in good faith.And what do we now read that Dennis Ross published in the NYTimes?
I don't think I could have wrote it better but I said it earlier, when it could have saved lives and situated Israel's public diplomacy in a better place.Who else is negative? Aaron Miller. Here, about the recent Palestinian move to sign the Rome Statute and join the International Criminal Court (ICC).:...Mahmoud Abbas, insists on using international institutions to pressure Israel [to[...favor[s] Palestinian statehood...[but], it’s time to stop giving the Palestinians a pass. It is time to make it costly for them to focus on symbols rather than substance....Resolutions are typically about what Israel must do and what Palestinians should get. If saying yes is costly and doing nothing isn’t, why should we expect the Palestinians to change course?...turning to the United Nations or the International Criminal Court during an Israeli election is counterproductive. It will be seen in Israel as a one-sided approach, and it will strengthen politicians who prefer the status quo....the Israelis are not the ones pushing for United Nations involvement. The Palestinians are. And if their approach is neither about two states nor peace, there ought to be a price for that.Peace requires accountability on both sides...isn’t it time to demand the equivalent from the Palestinians on two states for two peoples, and on Israeli security? Isn’t it time to ask the Palestinians to respond to proposals and accept resolutions that address Israeli needs and not just their own?
My own personal view — for the little it’s worth — is that the move is misguided and unlikely to advance the cause of an independent Palestinian state...Isn’t this just another effort to throw something at the wall and see if it sticks? A desperate move by a desperate people?
Bret Stephens, a former editor of this newspaper, has also made an observation about
People who are in the business of making excuses for Palestinians—and the apologists are legion
and adds this, on our theme:
Over a beachfront lunch yesterday in Tel Aviv, an astute Israeli friend had the following counter-fantasy: What if Western leaders refused to take Mahmoud Abbas’s calls? What if they pointed out that, in the broad spectrum of global interests, from Eastern Europe to the South China Sea, the question of Palestinian statehood ranked very low...What if these leaders observed that, in the scale of human tragedy, the supposed plight of the Palestinians is of small account next to the human suffering in Syria or South Sudan?In that event, the Palestinian dream palace might shrink to its proper size, and bring the attractions of practical statecraft into sharper focus. Genuine peace might become possible.
Finally, rationality, a grasp of the reality and understanding of the true character of Palestinianism. they can't be allowed to win if they do not face losing.^