Peace Is a Delusion

The truth at last has been revealed. Palestine Authority president Mahmud Abbas has officially admitted that he rejected the offer of peace and return of “occupied” territories offered to him when Ehud Olmert was prime minister of Israel. It remains a mystery why Abbas, after years of denying the claim, has now openly admitted to his rejection of it. It appears that he neither wants peace nor a Palestinian state.

Peace between Israelis and Palestinians is a delusion. It is a conflict that cannot be resolved by meetings, dialogue or foreign intervention. A leading high ranking military officer put it bluntly: “we will continue to live by the sword”.

A recent set of polls made the point more clearly. 63% of Palestinians interviewed do not want peace with Israel. 46% of Israeli Jews interviewed do not want peace with the Palestinians. And in the middle, caught between loyalty and reality, most of the Israeli Arab citizens who were interviewed overwhelmingly stated their preference to live in the Jewish State of Israel rather than an eventual State of Palestine.

Not because they love us by any means. Far from it. They plainly acknowledge that their lives are more comfortable and prosperous in Israel.

So many years, so many peace conferences, so many trips by American Secretaries of State, so much money wasted… and all in vain. To no avail. Promises made and promises broken. Dreams of peace and the nightmares of war.

Daily stabbings, shootings, car rammings, bloodshed. We drown in our own tears and in our own shed blood. Jews pray. Muslims and Christians pray. Perhaps we pray for peace on different terms.
But a God who supposedly hears prayer, shakes His head, closes His eyes and ears, and lets them solve their own problems.

The problem is that neither side knows how to solve the problems.

We could relinquish to them some areas of Judea and Samaria (West Bank 1967 conquest) and they could allow a return of some Palestinian 1948 refugees to settle on the freed territory. But while it might be a “gift” to the Palestinians, it would be a further path away from peace for us.

On the contrary. Our brightest hope is a distant separation from the Palestinians. What we need to build is a new Great Wall of China which keeps us away from them and them from us.

Further talks of peace are plainly futile. Like some ancient diseases for which cures have never been found, this ancient hatred beginning in biblical times has no cure. The sons of Ishmael and Esau will continue battling the sons of Isaac and Jacob as they have since our religious literature was first written.

It is not a question of optimism versus pessimism. My cup is neither half full nor half empty. Sadly, it is completely empty.

The hope for peace with the Palestinians is a delusion. And those who dream of peace dream in vain. It is time to wake up. This is the real world, not fantasy-land.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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