Mid – East Photo Op
It seems like déjà vu all over again and only a philosopher with the vision of Yogi Berra has the aptitude to make sense of it all. Since it is off season for Yogi, I guess we’ll give it a try.
Why do American Presidents feel that their last shot at building a positive legacy must revolve around getting the Palestinians, whoever is passing themselves off at that time as “the” Palestinians, and the Israelis together to establish the framework for a just and lasting peace?
And why do so many concessions have to be made towards the Palestinians to even get them, and other Muslim nations, to participate in the first place?
And it seems that any “Peace in the Middle East Presidential-legacy-development Process” must always include the following components:
Israel must release “terrorists” from their jails
Israel must relax border restrictions and create anxiety among its citizens as their people wonder what surprises their leaders have in mind for them this time.
Here we should point out that many Israelis worry about what part of their homeland they will be called upon [read: “forced”] to either share with the current crop of Muslim rejects calling themselves Palestinians or, worse, to vacate completely in a brand of eminent domain that yields nothing back to the givers but pain and sorrow and is accepted by the receivers as a moral victory in their long term commitment to rid the world of Jews rather than as seeing as providing opportunities to better their lives. We have seen this so many times before that it is no longer surprising.
What does surprise us and always has surprised us is that we can not seem to figure out what the Palestinians, again whoever they may be this time or any time, will be called upon to do other than merely showing up at some negotiating table. Our questions always seem to have the same answer, time-and-time-again: Nothing. And what are those questions:
What sacrifices are they asked to make?
What demands are made of them?
That’s the record. Israelis give and the Palestinians give nothing back.
And, while we are at it, it is incredible to us that many Muslim nations, and at least half of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza can not even agree to recognize Israel’s right to exist.
It would make sense that before any discussions between Israelis and the Palestinians were allowed to proceed a mutual recognition statement of each other’s right to exist and to continue to exist be accepted by both sides. Is that really too much to ask considering that many Israelis are willing to give up some historical sites and even discuss sharing Jerusalem with a significant number of their neighbors who will not even recognize their state as a legitimate country?
Negotiating with people that do not recognize your right to exist, and dealing with hundreds of millions of Muslims that would rather kill you than thank you is troubling on so many levels. If we do not fix these problems they will keep recurring like a bad dream; like a nightmare.