Middle Eastern Affairs

One Last Chance at Peace – Israel and Palestine – A Road Map

The Obama administration recently signaled in a State Department news conference that they may try again for a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. And though the Administration as of late has been on the outs with the Netanyahu administration in Israel the proceeding nine months may bear fruit. What is first needed by the administration is to recognize that the equation in the Middle East, for good or ill has changed dramatically since the last intifada in 2003. That is to say there are less strongmen in charge of countries that can directly threaten Israel. However the security environment, with the rise of ISIS and the ensuing chaos, is much more dangerous. The angle that I think would be best for the Obama administration to take would be to attempt a form of triangulation that would be appealing to the Clinton Administration.

The stated goal of the Administration is to guarantee the security of Israel. But also to respect the Palestinian’s plea for statehood. This can be done in my opinion. But it will require a deft and delicate hand that can at one time pronounce a Palestinian State. While at the same time not affecting the security environment that Israel lives, and breathes in.

The First order of business would be to have the gulf states; Qatar, UAE, and Saudi Arabia; along with Jordan, to agree to a non-aggression pact between them and Israel. This I think would go a long way to soothing the Israeli concerns about there security, should a war breakout between Israel, and Palestine, et al. Also it would the Israeli’s an excuse to continue their much ballyhooed bilateral contacts with the Gulf States as of late.

The next thing that would have to be done is the bringing together of Israel and Palestine and get them both to agree on the Camp David Two accords. this agreement which was agreed to by Yasser Arafat  and the Israeli leadership at the time, but that Israel’s Knesset, and the United States’ leadership could not agree to would’ve apportioned parts of the West Bank, and almost all of Gaza in one contiguous state for the Palestinians. Of course this was before the walls and the bloodshed which has occurred in the interregnum.

I think that by triangulating the remaining forces hostile to Israel who can legitimately oppose Israel’s hegemony in the region, and returning to a peace settlement that Yasser Arafat, the last true confessor for the Palestinian people and an agreement that was palatable to the Israeli leadership at the time of the conference, but one in which the United States steadfastly refused to sign off on, we may be able to finally give peace a chance.

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