Sunday, September 12, 2010

Why Mideast Peace Deals Are Destined to Fail

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Egypt this week trying to broker another peace deal between Israel and Palestine. Israel had agreed to not build settlements in the West Bank area but the agreed-upon time limitation is quickly approaching. Clinton, President Obama, and the Palestinians would like to see that moratorium on building extended.

One should see this as the same old "land-for-peace" deal that former president Bill Clinton promoted in the 1993 Oslo Accords. The problem with land-for-peace reasoning is two-fold. First, it does not take into account the illogic of a land-for-peace settlement; once land is given away to prevent threatened violence, the new owners of the land will merely threaten violence for more land. The process has no end. Second, the designers of this deal obviously do not know the history of the Middle-east or the nature of those at the negotiation table. It assumes that the Palestinians are reasonable people who only want a piece of Israel to call their own. The reality is that the Muslim nations surrounding Israel have sworn to do everything within their power to destroy Israel. The land-for-peace deal is only one small facet of that overall goal. Why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not see this (or at least why he plays along) is beyond me.

The nation of Israel exists. Whether its formation was right or wrong is beyond the scope of this brief article. Because it exists, though, it has sovereignty over its own land. It has every right to do with its own land as it sees fit. Further, it has every right to defend its land from every form of hostility. PLO leader Yasser Arafat once likened the Palestinians to the Philistines and vowed that as long as the Palestinians existed they, like the Philistines ages ago, would remain a thorn in Israel's side. Prime Minister Netanyahu: for the sake of the sovereignty of your nation, remove the thorn from your side or eventually it will poison you.

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