As I was walking the streets of Jaffa last night with a friend, he asked me whether I thought that John Kerry’s efforts to bring the Palestinians and Israelis to the negotiating table will bear fruit.
My answer to him was that I doubt it.
I doubt it because I feel that Abbas does not have the courage and statesmanship that a true leader needs to have to agree to Netanyahu’s multiple offers to meet immediately and negotiate without pre-conditions.
But along with that, I told him that the Israeli press is not helping advance the process. In fact, it does just the opposite.
Earlier this month, at the same time that the deputy defense minister was saying that “the coalition will block the creation of a Palestinian State,” Netanyahu was reaffirming his commitment to a two-state solution.
But who made the headlines? The deputy defense minister. Not the Prime-Minister.
What good does it do to promote the naysayers instead of the positivists?
Of course there will be a large block of the Israeli population and their representatives in the government that will oppose a two-state solution. But when the press gives the headlines to them, instead of advancing those that want to give peace a chance, it is only feeding the Palestinian argument that the Israelis are the ones that do not want peace. It is only sending Abbas the message that there is no reason to try and negotiate.
The press is making a huge mistake. Yes, report also the message of those that are opposed. Let people know of all positions. But for G’d sake, give negotiations a chance: empower those that are willing to sit and discuss.
Because at the end of the day, if and when Abbas creates the courage to meet Netanyahu without pre-conditions, the entire world will be able to see that the Palestinians are the ones who are not prepared for peace.