Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 1:32 PM ET, 12/21/2010

What now that the peace process has failed?

By Jennifer Rubin

Aaron David Miller, a lapsed peace processor, back in April decried the "false religion" of an activity that brings no peace, and isn't likely to for a long time. He was right then, and has reason to repeat the admonition. He writes in Foreign Policy:

A faltering, struggling peace process with some hope is far better than a failed one that leaves everyone hopeless -- and without a fallback option. When the time comes for big American moves (and, sadly, it will come given the Israeli and Palestinian lack of ownership over their own process), Obama should pay careful attention to the lessons and circumstances of the last big American effort to resolve the core issues.

Miller lists a number of falsehoods that were the basis for Obama's peace process optimism:

First, the parties were "this close" to an accord at the last Camp David, they will say, thumb and first finger almost touching. Second, that a tremendous amount of work has been done in the past 10 years by Israelis and Palestinians on the core issues which have brought the parties closer than they've ever been. Third, that everyone knows the broad outlines of an agreement. And, fourth, that trying and failing is better than not having tried at all.

I would add a few more: Obama's belief that his personal presence would galvanize the parties; the assumption that Mahmoud Abbas was empowered and willing to recognize the Jewish state; the Obama team's conviction that a settlement freeze would pave the way to a deal; the notion that by showing "daylight" between the U.S. and Israel, we would be more effective peace brokers; and the assertion that this was the top priority for the Arab states. All were false, and in the case of the Arab states' priorities (as WikiLeaks revealed), known to be false by the administration.

Miller suggests that Obama reconsider whether "the two leaders willing, able, and ready to make the big decisions on the big territorial issues and on the identity issues of Jerusalem and refugees." I will leave aside the moral equivalence (considering Israel has offered the Palestinians their state multiple times) and answer: Obviously not. So why not give up the charade and do something more productive?

Three suggestions: Fire George Mitchell (whom neither side trusts), work on Palestinian institution-building, and go after the main sponsor of regional terrorism, Iran. The Obama administration was convinced that a peace deal would bring about progress on Iran. This was another false premise. But regime change in Iran would help to stem the supply of weapons and support to Hamas and Hezbollah and re-establish the U.S.-Israel relationship as the essential component in a stable, peaceful Middle East. Even if that doesn't work (i.e. the Palestinians refuse to give up the dream of a one-state solution), as my mother would say, it couldn't hurt.

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 21, 2010; 1:32 PM ET
Categories:  Iran, Israel  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: What is civility, anyway?
Next: After START, when do we stop the one-sided deals?

Comments

Palestinian Authority: 10 EU States to Approve Palestinian Embassies
Alana Goodman - 12.20.2010 - 10:55 AM
Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat claimed yesterday that 10 European Union states have decided to upgrade their PLO missions to embassy status

This looks like sucess,at least its something new,I'm certain that this is a big no no to JR,maybe she'll comment.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 21, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"The Obama administration was convinced that a peace deal would bring about progress on Iran."

This hope was premised on pure fantasy. Obama is unwittingly a very dangerous man. His childishly naive mindset could get us killed. The idea that Iran might be less hostile towards the West if a genuine agreement was worked out between the Palestinians and the Jews of Israel is utterly ridiculous.

Posted by: DavidThomson | December 21, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

The fact that the Palestinian Authority has once again attained a meaningless and unworkable resolution against Israel is hardly cause for jubilation. It should be raising even more concern that the Palestinians will never even try to settle with Israel on a fair and just basis, but would rather continue and even worsen the instability that their hard line and uncompromising stance has engendered. The truth is that a Palestinian Israeli peace is attainable, but only on the basis of compromise in terms of territory and policy by Israelis but more importantly by the Palestinians.
This attempt by the Palestinians to once again avoid serious and productive negotiations with Israel by an end run to the international community is another sign of Palestinian bad faith. But worse it is a violation of every agreement the Palestinians have signed, thus casting into real doubt the efficacy of any agreement the Palestinians may sign in the future.

Posted by: Beniyyar | December 21, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

This attempt by the Palestinians to once again avoid serious and productive negotiations with Israel by an end run to the international community is another sign of Palestinian bad faith. But worse it is a violation of every agreement the Palestinians have signed, thus casting into real doubt the efficacy of any agreement the Palestinians may sign in the future.
Posted by: Beniyyar

Here we go again,I believe Israel is irrelevant to what the Paestinians need to do for their citizens,in this world,you are nothing if you are not a nation,Palestine should attain legitimate statehood,and then it is in a position to negogiate its interests thru strength. The fact that 10 EU states are to recognise Palestine will accelerate this process. Again,this opinion is rational from the viewpoint of what is in the best interests of the palestinian peple. I haven't heard an argument from you that negates this.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 21, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I have perfect suggestions of my own. Listen to Jennifer Rubin and do the exact opposite. you are bound to be more successful reaching peace than the Netanyahu apologists.

Posted by: wpost16 | December 21, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

"Palestine should attain legitimate statehood"

"Legitimate" means simply "recognized" here, I guess. But OK. Statehood with what borders? Better yet, with a capital in ...? The choices at the moment are Gaza City and Ramallah. Which, oh which shall it be? Pass the popcorn while they fight that one out. Whichever one wins, the new "state" will immediately want to set up in Jerusalem, naturally. Once there's a unilaterally declared Palestinian "state," though, that will be achievable only by force. How will that play out? An attempted invasion by "Palestine"? Could it just possibly be that they'll lose the war they start and then be occupied by the victorious Israeli defenders of their own country? Does any of this sound at all familiar?

Posted by: Jeroboam | December 21, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I would disagree that the peace process has 'failed.'

In that region of the world, the peace process is just that, a process. The current version has been going on for decades and will continue for decades more. It ebbs and flows rather than succeeds and fails.

As to the three suggestions:
1) If firing George Mitchell is appropriate, who should replace him and why?
2) Who should foot the bill for building
Palestinian institutions, and how would that work? Who makes the decisions about what to build and, if necessary, what to destroy?
3) The US tried 'regime change' in Iraq and it cost us plenty in both blood and money. I'm baffled that Ms. Rubin would be so quick to suggest it as part of a solution to the Mid-East process.

Posted by: MsJS | December 21, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

"Palestine should attain legitimate statehood"
"Legitimate" means simply "recognized" here, I guess. But OK. Statehood with what borders? Better yet, with a capital in ...? The choices at the moment are Gaza City and Ramallah. Which, oh which shall it be? Pass the popcorn while they fight that one out. Whichever one wins, the new "state" will immediately want to set up in Jerusalem, naturally. Once there's a unilaterally declared Palestinian "state," though, that will be achievable only by force. How will that play out? An attempted invasion by "Palestine"? Could it just possibly be that they'll lose the war they start and then be occupied by the victorious Israeli defenders of their own country? Does any of this sound at all familiar?
Posted by: Jeroboam
All this is their problems,and their struggles. Unlike what Beniyyar keeps insisting that Palestine "owes" it to Israel not to unilaterally build their nation,which is ridiculous,because the only way Palestine will ever have a nation,is by their own efforts,and if they fail,it's on them,not Israel.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 21, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: rcaruth

"All this is their problems,and their struggles. Unlike what Beniyyar keeps insisting that Palestine "owes" it to Israel not to unilaterally build their nation,which is ridiculous,because the only way Palestine will ever have a nation,is by their own efforts,and if they fail,it's on them,not Israel."

Yes, the Palestinians should just build their state and ignore the apartheid wall, the Israeli roads and settlements that slice and dice whatever territory there is left into an archipelago.

Posted by: AndreDeAngelis | December 21, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I am not too surprised that so many of the pro Palestinian writers here are more pro unilateral Palestinian statehood than the Palestinians. What is even worse, is that most of them consider any agreements that the Palestinians have signed, all of them witnessed and attested to American Presidents as binding, as not being worth even the paper they are written on.
Just yesterday another split in the Palestinian leadership appeared. In apparent contradiction to President Abbas, PA Prime Minister Fayyad told reporters that a Palestinian state, established on what land it holds now, without Israeli approval, would be a "Mickey Mouse State" with no real authority or rights, and could not even run it's local affairs very well, much less expect any help or cooperation whatsoever from the Israelis. This is so typical of the Palestinians taking a hardline position which ultimately backfires on them, rather than behaving honestly, and according to their own signed agreements, and working towards a just and cooperative solution.

Posted by: Beniyyar | December 22, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Andre,Become a nation,and then deal with the wall,roads,andsettlements that are within your nation.

Beni,If I were advising the Palestinians as to what is in their self interest,#1 would be to be a legal nation. You still haven't told us how Palestine makes itself the center of its self interest.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 22, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Charisma has a sell by date. For President Obama, menotred by commited Marxists it ran out the moment he won the 2008 elections. He cannot achieve much in the region because he and his unfocused team are utterly clueless about foreign affairs, being fed false data by the numerous Soros financed leftist agitators, the type who sold "Hope and Change" before he was out of diapers. In the region, no one trusts him or his emissaries. None can keep their mouth shut nor do they know how to manage state secrets. The tired, unhealthy looking and frequently absent Mme. Clinton is no better, having failed in every step since being sworn as "Secretary of State" seldom helping her boss when the heat is on. Both are ardent and certified students of the Radical Lucifer worshiping Saul Alinsky. The learned and taught the theories. The problem is: They never worked in any one country. This is no way to run foreign policy. One can only hope that they do less harm and leave the regional players work out the issues among themselves. Utopian Mr. Miller should acknowledge that neither he nor his impeached "charismatic" boss can brag of only one success in the region: toppling Bibi in 1998 which spawned the rise of the Bulldozer: Arik Sharon. Idealistic Miller, should be hiding somewhere, because he and the clueless "Amb". Ross, are nothing but a symptom of the tragedy of American failures abroad. After all what has he and his former boss achieved meeting the murderous KGB sponsored Yasser Arafat more than 20 times?

Posted by: ar3103 | December 22, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company