The 'peace process' that kills

Israel is indeed a rudderless ship, and nobody is coming to the rescue.

Prime ministers Yitzhak Rabin and US president Bill Clinton congratulate Jordan’s King Hussein after his speech at the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty signing ceremony on October 26, 1994. (photo credit: REUTERS)
Prime ministers Yitzhak Rabin and US president Bill Clinton congratulate Jordan’s King Hussein after his speech at the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty signing ceremony on October 26, 1994.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The region was already burning when US Secretary of State John Kerry rolled into town in July 2013, on his fifteenth-odd visit to Jerusalem, Ramallah or Amman in some four months on the job.
Syria was well into its third year of carnage, with sectarian strife beginning to spill over into Lebanon due to Hezbollah’s involvement in the civil war.
Libya was in shambles, with Islamist militias carving out spheres of influence following the American-led operation to remove Muammar Gaddafi from power.
For its part, Yemen, once a major US ally in the fight against terrorism, was without a stable government after the overthrow of long-time ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh, and in jeopardy of losing large swaths of the country to al-Qaeda’s local incarnation. In the wake of the total US military withdrawal from Iraq, that country was coming apart at the seams under Nuri al-Maliki, political uncertainty that gave rise to yet another Sunni-Shi’ite conflict, which, in turn, spawn Islamic State.
Egypt, the pillar of regional stability for decades, was in turmoil, reeling from a Muslim Brotherhood insurrection largely brought about by Washington’s abandonment of Hosni Mubarak in favor of Mohammed Morsi.
Iran was inching ever-closer to nuclear status.
Yet in his blinding arrogance, Kerry was certain what was needed most: The renewal of a 20-yearlong “peace process” that neither Israeli nor Palestinian officialdom had asked for nor wanted. Kerry would, with unsinkable hubris, secure his place in history by succeeding where everyone before him had failed. In any event, the move would deflect attention away from other US foreign policy blunders that had contributed to plunging the Middle East and North Africa into chaos.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni would, shortly thereafter, shake hands with PLO stooge Saeb Erekat at the White House, launching a fruitless nine-month process that, in reality, was the point of departure along an inevitable and fully foreseeable path to war.
The only thing negotiations were ever bound to deliver were more corpses to the morgue. Engagement with the Palestinians has never produced anything other than the weakening of Israel’s bargaining positions and the erosion of its legitimate rights.
Coupled with the PA ’s incessant dehumanization of Jews, there could be only one end to the latest chapter of a farcical, and tragic, saga.
Just weeks after the breakdown of talks – which the Obama administration repeatedly inferred was attributable to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s unwillingness to throw in the kitchen sink too – Hamas dutifully reminded Palestinians of their nationalistic responsibilities.
The incorporation of Gaza’s rulers into a unity government with PA “President” Mahmoud Abbas was near-unanimously hailed as a positive step by the international community, effectively justifying terror against Israelis. The kidnapping and murder of three Jewish teens this past June, accompanied bya surge of rocket fire on civilian population centers, was the outcome.
It also set the stage for Operation Protective Edge, the summer’s devastating seven-week conflict.
And while the world was perversely condemning Israel’s “disproportionate” response to the terror it helped to unleash, unrest was brewing in the West Bank and especially Jerusalem. Violent demonstrations in Arab-Israeli cities likewise foreshadowed the campaign of murder currently being waged against Jews within the so-called “1967 borders,” the latest example being the brutal killing of four worshipers (including three American rabbis) and a police officer at a synagogue in the capital at the hands of axe-wielding Palestinians.
But the die was cast the moment Kerry first descended upon Israel pushing his “peace.”
The same has held true since 2000, when then-Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat spurned an accord at Camp David and launched the second intifada.
Abbas has since rejected two full-fledged peace offers, all the while inculcating his people with a rabid Jew-hatred that can only find adequate expression, and so often does, through violence.
The question of whether or not another Palestinian “uprising” has started is irrelevant – because it is unavoidable. It is the natural consequence of the venomous indoctrination with hate of an entire population based on the total rejection of the Jewish people’s right to live within any borders in its one and only state, the recurring result of a phony peace process which holds only one side accountable and deems the construction of schools in disputed territories as a greater sin than the taking of life.
In the result, Israel finds itself in a great conundrum, from which it cannot escape without altering dramatically the prevailing, warped paradigm. One needs to look no farther than the media coverage of Tuesday’s attack to understand the depths to which the country has fallen.
Canada’s public news station, the CBC, conjured up this headline: “Police fatally shoot two after apparent synagogue attack.” For American consumption, CNN’s Ben Wedeman reported that, “Israeli police shot dead two Palestinian civilians”; this, as a caption on screen later read, “4 Israelis, 2 Palestinians dead in Jerusalem,” while failing to note the latter “victims” perpetrated the massacre.
This is not Al Jazeera, mind you, but rather two leading news stations in the most advanced democracies in the world, which are also considered Israel’s closest allies.
But nobody should be surprised; the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, after all, described the first terror attack in the recent series – which saw a Palestinian mow down as many bystanders as possible on the streets of Jerusalem – as a “vehicular accident.”
This is what happens when Jews come to be viewed as “apes and pigs,” “occupiers,” “settlers” – as if they had it coming – which is the most severe consequence of the ongoing Palestinian delegitimization campaign.
All the while, petty political infighting precludes Israel’s leaders from forming a unified front. The best they can come up with are futile denunciations of global media bias, meaningless platitudes about fighting terror, and a policy of destroying the homes of those who carry out attacks; which are then rebuilt with salaries – deriving from Western aid – disbursed by the PA to “heroic martyrs” and their families.
Israel is indeed a rudderless ship, and nobody is coming to the rescue. The international community remains blinded to its own complicity in the violence, its archaic formula of “two states for two peoples” rejected time and again by the Palestinians, in practice constituting a recipe for perpetual conflict.
Until Israel extricates itself from this vicious cycle, which invariably begins with handshakes under the bright lights of Washington and ends with the murder of innocent Jews in the dark alleyways of Jerusalem, the “peace process” will continue to kill.
The author is a correspondent for i24News,