“Many people want to embrace the happy fantasy that the Palestinians are ready today to make peace if those nasty Israelis would just stop provoking them by building new settlements, and that if we in the West press Israel enough on the settlement question, peace will quickly come. […]
In our view, the real reason the peace process hasn’t succeeded in producing real peace is not that Israeli settlements keep Palestinians away from the table.
The real problem is exactly what it has been for sixty years: deeply rooted Palestinian opposition to a two-state solution. While many Palestinians are ready to accept that solution, many of those see it as only a temporary step on the road to a single, Palestinian state, and a very large group of Palestinians stands with the Hamas leadership in rejecting the legitimacy of Israel on any terms.”
Walter Russell Mead in a piece that should be required reading for the hordes of clueless pundits and politicians – first and foremost European politicians – who have been refusing to see what has been plain for a long time: “The Key to Peace: Selling The Two State Solution in Palestine.”
Over the years – yes, I’ve been blogging since late 2006 already – I have often written about Palestinian rejectionism, which is not only reflected in numerous opinion polls, but also in countless statements by Palestinian officials and intellectuals. A Guardian op-ed by Ahmad Samih Khalidi, who once served as a Palestinian negotiator, states the case perhaps most concisely under the apt title “Thanks, but no thanks.”
Mead gives his own summary of Palestinian rejectionism and concludes:
“It may be that for these reasons, real peace is out of reach for now. In that case, the rational course might be to go for a lasting truce in which neither side gives up ultimate claims but accepts a pragmatic, medium term ‘cease fire in place.’ If carefully designed, that kind of practical arrangement could buy time while the search for a conclusive peace treaty continued.”