Thursday, May 26, 2011

Why There Is No Peace Between the Israelis and the Palestinians

A few days ago House Majority Leader Eric Cantor spoke before the AIPAC convention.

There he essayed to show why there is no peace between Israel and the Palestinians.  To do so he told a story that illustrated the differences between the two cultures.

Today, the Wall Street Journal reprinted it. It speaks for itself and it tells you just about everything you need to know about the impasse. Link here.

In Cantor’s words: “The following story illustrates Israel's dilemma. A Palestinian woman from Gaza arrives at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba for lifesaving skin treatment for burns over half her body. After the conclusion of her extensive treatment, the woman is invited back for follow-up visits to the outpatient clinic. One day she is caught at the border crossing wearing a suicide belt. Her intention? To blow herself up at the same clinic that saved her life.

“What kind of culture leads one to do that? Sadly, it is a culture infused with resentment and hatred. It is this culture that underlies the Palestinians' and the broader Arab world's refusal to accept Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. This is the root of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. It is not about the '67 lines.

“And until Israel's enemies come to terms with this reality, a true peace will be impossible.”


Deadman said...

The original story is also available on youtube.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Thank you for the link.

Malcolm said...

Here is another reason there will be no peace.

Anonymous said...

If the Palestinians throw down their guns.....Peace breaks out.

If the Israelis throw down their guns another Holocost breaks out.

Could you be so stupid as to ask, "Why there is no peace?"

Malcolm said...

This sums it up.

"It seems that some people have a hard time understanding what was so
problematic about Obama's speech. This is especially the case of Jews
committed to the Democratic Party (or, more precisely, committed to a
particular self-image) at all costs. In order to explain the point
succinctly, it is necessary to say explicitly something that Israeli
politicians generally talk their way around.

There will be no peace with the Palestinians and the Arab world. They
want us dead. We engage in sham "negotiations" with them only because
of the high diplomatic, economic and political price of not doing so.

In order to maintain the appearance of negotiating, we need to state
positions on the central issues. There are two tactics with regard to
this. One is to offer concessions that are limited enough -- either
territorially or functionally -- to do little harm in the event that
they ever need to actually be paid. This is a fool's game because the
amount we can profitably concede in the face of continuing hostility
is so limited as to not even constitute the appearance of negotiating.
The second tactic is to condition any concessions on corresponding
Arab concessions that they are unlikely to ever pay. At the moment,
requiring cessation of claims on the part of the Arabs is a
sufficiently high bar, though not without risk.

What Obama did in his speech (and what Europeans have been doing for
years) was to counter both tactics simultaneously. First, he demands
concessions (the 1949 armistice lines as the default in the absence of
agreement on swaps and no Israeli military positions in the conceded
territory) that are indefensible in the absence of genuine stable
peace. Second, he demands these concessions prior to cessation of
claims by the Arabs (refugees and Jerusalem to be negotiated after

There is a point at which the price of participating in these sham
negotiations becomes higher than the price of not participating in