Peace, Not Process

RAMALLAH – The United States should stop pushing for the resumption of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process. Doing so might be the best way to achieve peace – a paradox that reflects the huge gap between a peace process and achieving genuine peace.

Make no mistake: this is not a call to arms or an appeal for a violent uprising. Peace between the conflicting parties east of the Mediterranean and west of the Jordan river can and must be achieved through negotiations. But if one party is more interested in a process than in the need for peace, something must be wrong.

For Israel, an occupying power whose people enjoy democratic civilian authority and a GDP tens times that of the people it is denying basic rights of freedom and independence, photo opportunities provided by meeting and greeting Palestinian leaders has replaced achieving peace.

A serious look back at the 17 years since Yassir Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin shook hands on the White House lawn is revealing. The number of illegal Jewish settlements and settlers has more than doubled in the areas Israel occupied in 1967. Negotiators have parsed every possible solution to the permanent-status issues of Jerusalem, borders, settlements, refugees, and economic relations. Leaders of the world’s superpowers, United Nations officials, the Elders, and tens of people of goodwill have offered their goodwill offices and their services to bring about peace. All to no avail.