Dec. 14, 2017
The Uncompromising Palestinians – Shlomo Avineri (Ha’aretz)
- President Trump said explicitly that recognizing Jerusalem and moving the embassy do not in any way determine the borders and the U.S. supports the two-state solution – if it is acceptable to both sides.
- The Palestinian response ignored these two statements, which in practice say that as far as the final agreement is concerned, the Trump administration’s stance is not significantly different than the position of previous American administrations.
- A responsible Palestinian leadership that strives to reach an agreed upon solution and does not make do with aggressive rhetoric could have seized on these statements.
- Only the Palestinian unwillingness to understand that if a solution is found, it will realistically have to be a compromise formula and not the fulfillment of all their demands, prevented the Palestinian leadership from relating to these aspects of Trump’s speech.
- Instead, the Palestinian leadership attacked the U.S. and its president, declared that America cannot be an honest broker, and announced that Trump’s speech irreversibly buried the two-state solution.
- The roots of this response, which joined a long list of historic missed Palestinian opportunities, can be found in the inability to live with compromise, which characterizes the Arab political discourse in general.The writer, professor emeritus of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, served as director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.