I see my role in posting information in my obscure blog to simply point out rather obvious things that the gurus and heavy hitters in the Middle East reporting and analysis business seem loathe to discuss. Or perhaps they simply don’t know or care to learn. Soon we shall again have Israel-Palestinian “peace talks”
And no doubt at the end there will handshakes all around…Kerry will make another one of his ebullient statements of over- optimism and the participants will go home to continue saying and doing the same as before the negotiations.
Just a few facts.
Mahmoud Abbas does not represent the Palestinians, certainly not the Hamas organization in Gaza, and according to most astute observers, not even his own west bank constituents. What he agrees to is of little significance.
The Palestinians are talking about returning to 1967 borders for Israel. There are more than 200000 Israelis living in the Arab Palestine West Bank. What happens to the settlements? To keep them in Israel would create a Palestinian state that looks like swiss cheese on a map. How could they be dismantled? Remember the violence required and Israeli army intervention to oust a few hundred Israelis from the Sinai and Gaza.? Apparently the commentators have forgotten. How many Israeli divisions would it require to oust the settlements from the West bank, especially since many are religious Jews who view the West Bank ( Judea and Samaria) as territory given to them by God.
Now a number of Israelis are rightfully commenting on the fact that demographically they are in peril. The Arabs within the present boundaries of Israel will eventually equal the Israeli population. They are outbreeding the Jews. The Israelis want a Jewish state, not a bi-national state of Arab and Jews, which is likely to become just another Middle eastern state, stagnated and corrupt. ( Old zionists called this the new Canaanite state)
Many Israeli leaders recognize the reality that some accommodation with the Palestinians will eventually need to be made. For this very reason the Arabs are less likely to agree to a real peace. Why should they since demographics would seem to tilt the future in their favor. As the Palestinians are (overly) fond of saying it took two hundred years to get rid of the crusaders so we will take 200 years to get rid of the Jews.
What Arab ruler will agree to doing away with the sacred _ “right of return” for Palestinian refugees that has been a intrinsic piece of their nationalist mythology for over 60 years?
One essential point needs to be made whatever the outcome of the “talks about talks.” Despite the pontificating of the pundits and neo arabists, the solution of the Palestinian problem, while important, has never been the central issue in the Middle East So many who should know better seem to imply that a solution will heal the gaping wounds bleeding all over the Middle East. It will not.
So let the games begin anew!