The United States has created massive depths of distrust between the Israelis and Palestinians. They have caused this distrust by Making false promises to the Israelis and granting the Palestinians a state that they can’t actually give.
A wise man once said “How can there be trust when there is a third party making false promises on both sides?” I think this quote is extremely relevant to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. American officials continuously tell the Israelis that when they make concessions, the Arabs will embrace them and be interested in a lasting peace with them. A prime example of this would be when the Obama administration pressured Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud coalition government to pass legislation in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, that would enact a ten month settlement freeze in 2010. “The Israelis created a ten month settlement freeze in hopes of peace.” Unfortunately, there was no peace. Hamas actually instigated violence by attacking a group of Israeli Magav soldiers on the southern Israeli border with the Gaza Strip. See, we have no control over the situation as Americans. It is not our conflict, thus our input has little to no effect. Even though we are considered the ‘Most Powerful Nation on Earth,’ we can’t just force two factions into a peace deal, the Arab states and Israel have a long history of violence and conflict towards each other, that’s not just going to change. We can’t promise something like peace with it’s neighbours to the Israelis, when it doesn’t work out, we just end up creating distrust between many factions.
We have also promised the Palestinians a state, yet that is something we lack control over, and as the Israelis have not been able to fulfill that promise yet, there are heavy amounts of distrust in the relations between the Palestinians and Israelis. We can’t just promise the Palestinians a state. It’s more complicated than that, if Israel withdrew to the pre-1967 borders, it would be indefensible. Security concerns must be the utmost priority for Israel. Also, the Palestinian Authority’s stance on what it wants for it’s borders change often and conflicts with Israeli interests at times, so we can’t just barge in and promise them something that we have absolutely no say in. They need to settle it themselves.
While we are unable to keep the promises we make on behalf of each faction, we are just increasing the divide, adding salt to the wound if you will. If all we do is create distrust between both factions, we aren’t exactly bringing about the end of the conflict. Rather, we are deepening the divide and making the likelihood of a lasting peace even slimmer. However, our continued involvement in a conflict in which we lack legitimate influence is also hindering all hopes of peace.