As the Obama administration sees its end in less than a month, Secretary of State Kerry’s hopes of an Israeli/Palestinian peace accord are quickly vanishing. In a speech made on Wednesday, Secretary Kerry came down a bit hard on Israel for the so-called “right-wing” settler issue. He went on to state, “preserving the two-state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”
Never to miss an opportunity to flex his Twitter muscles, President-elect Trump stated, “We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect. They used to have a great friend in the U.S., but…not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!”
Finally, Netanyahu responded to Secretary Kerry’s rebuke remarking that the speech was “skewed against Israel” and that “the root of the conflict” was the Palestinian opposition to a Jewish nation.
It appears, Secretary Kerry, that you will not be receiving the Nobel Peace Prize and your legacy will have to settle for the Iran Nuclear Deal which some on both sides of the aisle are not all that pleased with. Regardless, I do admire your sand, Secretary, as plenty of great political minds have been smashed against the rock that is the Israeli/Palestinian question.
However, I do agree with the Secretary that a two-state solution seems the only real answer to this diabolical question. Unfortunately, Netanyahu and his merry band of right-wingers refuse to listen to reason. Until then, Israel’s hope and the hope of the most of the world, including the millions of Palestinians, displaced or otherwise, will be to no avail.
Both sides have merit but both sides must swallow their pride and come to the table of compromise if there is to be any real progress towards this elusive solution. Israel must realize that they live in a world where might no longer means right. Though Israel indeed won the war five decades ago, they must concede a place for the Palestinians. Fair or not, it is what must be done.
On the flip side, the Palestinians must concede that violence against the nation of Israel and her citizens is abhorrent and must be condemned at the highest levels of the Palestinian government, if they ever hope to have a sovereign state. Moreover, the Palestinians must seek a compromise on their demand for “right of return” of all refugees. All or none is not an answer.
This seemingly endless conflict between two brothers bound forever by religion and region has hit a major roadblock with Netanyahu’s refusal to listen to the what he called the lectures of foreign leaders. There isn’t any doubt that the Palestine and the Arab world has its share of blame but over the course of the last several years it has been the Arabs that have seen the wisdom of compromise with Israel being the obstinate one.
If Netanyahu and his administration continue down this road, Israel’s stubborn leaders will be harshly judged by future generations from both sides of the argument. They have within them the power to put to rest this ancient, Abrahamic-fight between siblings, but standing on principle while their nation burns is insanity. Israel and Palestine must find common ground or they’ll have wasted their best chance to bring peace in our time.
Image courtesy of CNN