Recognizing farce while embracing opportunity

Since the 1970s, we’ve heard literally thousands of times the description of 3 central pillars Israel and its most important ally the United States of America insist comprise the only legitimate process which can lead to the achievement of peace between Israel, Arab states and Palestinian neighbors.

  1. Peace treaties shall be conducted and completed through direct negotiations between the parties.
  2. No outside power should seek to impose, nor will it be acceptable to attempt an imposed peace formula or treaty.
  3. The negotiations are and will be based upon the UN Security Council Resolution 242 formula which established a ‘just and lasting peace’ would be achieved through “Withdrawal of Israel from territories occupied” in the 1967 Six Day War.

That’s it. Every Israeli government since Prime Minister Golda Meir’s, who famously stated after the June 1967 victory, “we’re waiting for the phone to ring,” have insisted on this formula, which eventually led to direct negotiations and peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. Those direct negotiations were facilitated by the incredible patience, persistence and negotiating skills of American presidents and diplomats, such as former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk for example.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk

Say what you will about the lack of warmth in Israel’s relations with those two historic main adversaries, they no longer gird for war or threaten war, or conduct terror activities against Jews and Israel. These peace treaties stand as testament to the central inescapable logic that living in peace with neighbors requires compromises and agreements hammered out in face-to-face negotiations.

Last week two significant events signaled the formula has been sacrificed on the alter of a completely discredited American President Donald Trump. Over the next couple days, amid the U.S. Senate impeachment trial spectacle, Trump will announce, alongside criminally indicted obsequious Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, the ‘deal of the century’ which is masquerading as a peace plan.

At best it’s a pre-election public relations stunt to boost Netanyahu’s election prospects for the March 2nd Israeli elections. At worst it sets the stage for Israel to maintain its unsustainable military government over 2 million Palestinians who live west of the Jordan river all the way into Jerusalem.

It should be no surprise then, even if extremely disappointing to see Ambassador Indyk’s recent Wall Street Journal op-ed asserting that since Israel’s survival is no longer at stake, and the two-state solution is not a vital American interest, “it’s time to end the farce of putting forward American peace plans only to have one or both sides reject them.”

Grand Opening of Ramat HaNegev high school – 2019

This coming May 14th Israel will for the 72nd year, celebrate its founding as a Jewish state. On my first visit to Israel in 1977, living in Jerusalem studying at Hebrew University, I saw a very young country still emerging, absorbing, becoming, building, restoring and creating a Hebrew-speaking pluralistic Jewish homeland. The achievements of the amazing Israeli people, despite the currently servile political class, can accomplish the dream of children living and thriving in peace. For those who love Israel we cannot give up or give in to disappointment.

About the Author
Ken Toltz began his professional career at AIPAC in Washington, D.C. from 1979 – 1982. He's a 3rd generation Colorado native, businessman and long-time gun violence prevention activist. After 42 years from his first visit to Israel he has relocated his home to Mitzpe Ramon in Israel's Negev.
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