Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

A Short History of Palestinian Rejectionism

| February 16, 2020

The consistent and enduring Palestinian rejection of any and all peace initiatives with Israel, most recently the “Deal of the Century,” calls into question the commitment of the Palestinian leadership not only to peace but to the very welfare and safety of the Palestinian people.

The “Deal of the Century” Is a Stimulus, Not a Blueprint

| February 11, 2020

President Trump’s peace plan must be understood as a systemic impetus toward a new breakthrough rather than as a practical blueprint for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Democrats, Experts, and Peace Plans

| February 4, 2020

The Trump “Deal of the Century” has elicited responses ranging from enthusiastic support to bitter rejection. Among those rejecting the plan are US Democratic candidates for president. Their instant and total rejection reflects an instinctive antipathy toward Trump but also an addiction to expert-driven processes that have failed for decades. The blanket rejection reflects non-zero sum conceptions in which there can be no winners or losers in the conflict, and reveals an instrumental view of Palestinians as stalking horses for other causes. But reality is creeping in and starting to change attitudes.

Trump’s Realpolitik Approach to Middle East Peace

The Trump administration’s approach to the issue of peace in the Middle East differs from that of previous US administrations in that it is based on facts on the ground as they have evolved over time. The US peace team appears to have jettisoned both the historical “blame game” and the contradictory narratives of the Palestinians and the Israelis, which have combined to frustrate all prior peace initiatives.

An Israeli Victory Is Necessary if Peace Is to Be Achieved

| August 5, 2019

It is usually wiser to work for a solution to a conflict than try to achieve victory. But in some conflicts, the objectives of the two parties are so mutually exclusive that the conflict can only end when one defeats the other. Israel’s goal is survival; the Palestinian goal is the elimination of Israel. Peace requires that the Palestinians give up that goal, which they have had for nearly a century. They won’t do so until they understand that they have no chance of succeeding.

Is the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict the “Middle East Conflict”?

| December 15, 2017

Is the Israel-Palestinian conflict equivalent to “the Middle East conflict,” as UN and EU officials and agencies and major media outlets characterize it? Of course not. The conflict is not nearly as lethal as many others and long ago became parochial compared to the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.