A number of you have been asking me on Facebook, Twitter and iReport what I think about the renewed push for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Do I think this is wisely timed and do I have any optimism for it? Here are my thoughts:
I think that fundamentally you’ll only get peace if the Israelis are convinced that it is in their interests. They have power on the ground. And they’re the only ones who can really determine whether or not they’re going to make peace happen.
I think that they are secure enough that they should. But that has not translated into the Israeli political process, which is still being held captive by a bunch of smaller, right-wing parties. The parties have, often for non-foreign policy reasons, decided not to move the country toward peace.
In that context, I’m not particularly hopeful that there will be much more happening in the coming months. I don’t see some game-changing event on the horizon.
A different Israeli leadership could result in a very dramatically different outcome because a majority of Israelis would like to see peace and are willing to make fairly painful sacrifices to have that happen. But Israel’s political system right now does not reflect that majority. It over-represents the minority who are opposed to any kind of deal with the Palestinians.
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