There is a solution
With the Aspen Idea Fest starting in a few days and discussions of Middle East peace always on the agenda, there are a few thoughts I’d like to share.
President Obama recently repeated the oft-regurgitated and untrue supposition that the largest roadblock to peace is Israeli settlements.
On the face of it, that might seem logical. After all, isn’t “occupation” to blame for the conflict when the other side declares it just wants an end to “occupation?” It seems reasonable until you consider the fact that wars to end the “occupation” were being waged before there was an “occupation.” In the pre-1967 world, in fact since Israeli independence in 1948, Arabs have been targeting Israel. Why? To end the “occupation?”
Which occupation are they referring to? When none of the so-called “occupied territories” were occupied by Israel? Egypt and Jordan occupied Gaza, Samaria and Judea from 1948 until 1967. The “occupied territories” they mean is not Gaza, Samaria and Judea but the state of Israel.
Today’s Arab protesters shout, “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” That was their call then, and it is still their call. This is about the existence of Israel, pure and simple. Settlements weren’t the cause when they didn’t exist; they are not the cause now.
The real roadblock to peace is the abuse of Palestinian children by the Palestinian leadership. Palestinian children are daily robbed of their childhood. They are taught that their neighbors are animals, death is to be aspired over life, and the greatest glory they can achieve is to murder Jews. From their textbooks to their television, their religious leaders to political leaders, these children are inundated with a false history and a false reality. Generations after generations are born, raised and die immersed in hate and lies. Until that changes, a lasting peace is not possible.
To again quote former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir, “We will have peace when the Arabs love their children more then they hate us.” There is no quick solution but there is a solution. We can either keep blaming Israel, or we can address the real problem. Seeing how well we’ve done trying the former solution, isn’t it time to try a real solution?
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