In any peace process all sides may as well be with Alice in Wonderland when asking the question “When is a door not a door?” if they answer, “When it is ajar”. If the answer is not so then they will have accepted that any agreement requires all sides to make compromises.
All sides to a certain degree will need to accept the other sides demands and be willing not to achieve all their own demands. In other words, compromise is the key to agreement. This means that all sides will need to accept a degree of failure that they have not achieved their maximum expectations whilst also acknowledging that the other side was right in their demands.
So, following the Utopia Agreement (the name of the Peace Treaty) sponsored by President Trump the following quotes from statements may well appear in the media
- Abu Mazen (Palestinian President) “Israel is a state that will always exist as a Jewish national homeland”.
- Khaled Meshaal (Hamas Leader) “Hamas accepts the pre-1967 borders”
- Bibi Netanyahu (Israeli Prime Minister) “Palestinian leaders are not terrorists”
- Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Iranian leader) “The foundation of the Islamic regime is acceptance to Israel and the perpetual subject of Iran is the promotion of Israel in the region.”
- Saudi King Salman bin Abd al Aziz al Saud “All Jews are welcome on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem”
- Abū Bakr al-Baghdādi (leader of ISIL), “An Islamic Caliphate doesn’t include Israel”
- Bashar Hafez al-Assad (President of Syria) “Territory won in war belongs to the victor, the Golan is Israeli”
- Hasan Nasrallah (Hezbollah leader) “We welcome trade and tourism with our Southern neighbor, Israel”
- Eliyahu Shaviro (Mayor of Ariel in the Shomron) “We are all moving to new homes in Northern Israel and are handing over our current homes, free of charge”
Don’t hold your breath! It is unlikely soon if ever, despite all efforts by American Presidents and lesser deities, that you will see these statements in any media, except in this article! The least trusted occupation in the world, politicians, have succeeded in convincing themselves that after being elected that anything is possible. Perhaps the surprise of being elected has created this disillusion of messianic ability.
It will indeed require supreme ability to achieve the above when considering the usual quotes from statements that are paraphrased as below.
- Abu Mazen (Palestinian President) “Any Palestinian State will have Jerusalem as its capital and so Jews must vacate half of the city”
- Khaled Meshaal (Hamas Leader) “Hamas promotes family claims by Palestinians to land in Haifa and Tel-Aviv”
- Bibi Netanyahu (Israeli Prime Minister) “Palestinian leaders who are terrorists must renounce violence”
- Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Iranian leader) “The foundation of the Islamic regime is rejection to Israel and the perpetual subject of Iran is the destruction of Israel in the region.”
- Saudi King Salman bin Abd al Aziz al Saud “Jews have no right to visit the Temple Mount in Jerusalem”
- Abū Bakr al-Baghdādi (leader of ISIL), “An Islamic Caliphate includes Israel”
- Bashar Hafez al-Assad (President of Syria) “The Golan is Syrian”
- Hasan Nasrallah (Hezbollah leader) “We cannot conduct trade and tourism with the Zionist imperialist”
- Eliyahu Shaviro (Mayor of Ariel in the Shomron) “Our home is where we are and will always be”
Clearly the door is not even ajar, it is closed! The hope on the horizon comes not from those directly involved but from the periphery.
Muslim states in Africa and the Persian Gulf are voicing their acceptance to normalizing relation with Israel. Perhaps what they are really murmuring is that it is time to tell the world that they already have ties with Israel. Included in the list are Sudan and Qatar. This is no secret.
Perhaps turning back, the clock to pre-radicalization Middle East as if it never happened with a few examples of alternative events might lead to an epiphanic view of how Peace could have existed:
- Muslim Palestine was created in May 1948
- A non-Ayatollah Iran together with a non-Erdogan Turkey; so, no Hamas and no Hezbollah
- Iraq didn’t invade Kuwait in 1990 and so the conditions don’t exist for ISIL
- The Arab Spring brought true democracy to Egypt, Syria and Yemen
“Will it ever happen?” prompts the next question, “What is it?” The answer may require turning back to Alice in Wonderland in which “Drowning is forbidden, punishable by death.”