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Israel is Not to Blame for Failed 'Peace Process'

9:08 AM, Dec 14, 2010 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Danny Ayalon writes in the Los Angeles Times:

The breakdown of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks has predictably resulted in blame laid almost exclusively on Israel. However, events of the last 17 years — since Israeli-Palestinian peace talks began — demonstrate a different story about what has prevented peace.

Since the Oslo peace accords were signed in 1993, the Israeli position on the peace process has constantly progressed and evolved. That has been best enunciated by the generous offers made by Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert in 2000 and 2008, respectively. Meeting nearly all of the Palestinian demands, these offers were rejected without further discussion or counteroffer.

The present Israeli government has accepted the principle of a two-states-for-two peoples solution. Israel has contributed to the improvement of the lives of Palestinian to the point where the West Bank's economic growth is greater than almost anywhere in the world; it has removed more than two-thirds of all security checkpoints and initiated a unilateral moratorium on construction in the settlements.

Furthermore, the first act of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he entered office 21 months ago was to call for negotiations with the Palestinians anywhere, without preconditions and with all issues on the table.

Unfortunately, the Palestinian position during these 17 years has not moved one inch from its maximalist demands. Isn't it time that the Palestinians are asked directly and openly if they are prepared to make any concessions? Are they prepared to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and the Jewish connection to the Western Wall and Temple Mount? Are they prepared to recognize that there are Jewish refugees in Arab states, and that Israel has very real security concerns?

Whole thing here.

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