The month of June is now very likely to see a ratcheting up of US efforts concerning negotiations for an Arab-Israeli peace agreement. Another ‘push’ to start such a process is, no doubt, already under way and it will be interesting to observe what new developments, if any, are revealed.
But, so far, it’s all been very heavy going and the omens, as usual, hold out little hope of success.
This side wants that, the other one has to have this and both are dissatisfied with something else.
To say that there is scarcely any meeting of minds here is stating the obvious. Certain advantages of the current ‘initiative’ are acknowledged but this might only be for public consumption, a PR exercise so as not to appear too dismissive of outside assistance. Or is there really some genuine belief in this proposal, a feeling that progress can be achieved here, a deal done and significant results obtained? There again, this could be just another case of ‘hope forever springing eternal.’
Whatever the reasons for optimism or pessimism, the fact remains that the overall situation itself has always conspired against anything of peaceful consequence taking place.
Israelis don’t trust Palestinians to abide by the letter or even the spirit of any agreed settlement. Palestinians hold much the same view on Israeli abilities to do likewise. And so, unless a high degree of confidence in each other’s bona fides can be established, no initiative, no matter how carefully worded or sweetened, can ever overcome this.
Totally accept the premise that neither side will have any cause to believe whatever declarations of good intent are promised by the other. Then modify the situation such that this common mindset becomes something of an asset to peace rather than its permanent stumbling block. Under these changed conditions, there soon arises an entirely new state of affairs, one that could promote, even guarantee the future in no uncertain manner.
Well, if not this, then what?
Mr. Kerry and yet more of his billions of dollars? Over the longer term, yes, they will most definitely help.
But provision for that longer term must first be made.
Otherwise, all else is folly.