Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Time for Plan B for Mideast conflict

Op-ed: Palestinians will never accept any peace plan, no matter how reasonable it seems to Israelis and Americans.

Lawrence J. Epstein for Ynetnews

KerryThe quixotic, well-meaning search for a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict is futile, and it always has been. That statement is not offered as an ideological trumpet call for annexing the West Bank or an emotional cri de coeur. Rather, it is meant to provide a realistic perspective, one needed to see future prospects with clear eyes.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope Secretary Kerry is able to effect a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Most Israeli Jews would welcome a two-state solution that protects Israeli security and provides the Palestinians with a homeland where they can rule themselves. I agree with this view. But, with the best intentions, the most brilliant of plans, and the most earnest willingness to work hard, neither Secretary Kerry nor anyone else will find a way to conclude a peace treaty. That is because the Palestinians will never accept any plan, no matter how reasonable it seems to the Israelis and the Americans.

In 1905, Naguib Azoury , a Maronite Christian, wrote what became the first significant analysis of the Zionist movement from an Arab nationalist viewpoint. The book, commonly called "Le réveil de la nation arabe" ("The Awakening of the Arab Nation"), includes a preamble with an apocalyptic appraisal of Arab-Jewish relations. The awakening Arab nationalism and the Jewish attempt to restore a nation in their ancient homeland were, Azoury claimed, destined to clash permanently until one of the movements permanently defeated the other. Azoury expressed the Arab view openly and perceptively. But his conclusion was simply not believed by the Jews, by the Americans, or by the Europeans.

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