Palestinian Intransigence Is the Obstacle to Peace – Daniel Gordis (New York Times)
The reason that no agreement has ever been reached is because the Palestinians are not interested in a deal. Boycotting the settlements is immoral, for it would punish Israelis for Palestinian intransigence. It is also unfair to Palestinians, for boycotts that focus on businesses based in the West Bank result in Palestinians losing their jobs.
Polls show Israelis want a deal. Yet the Palestinians still refuse to budge, because people like those who support a boycott let them know that time is on their side, so they might as well dig in their heels.
When the Palestinians commit to ending the conflict once and for all and recognize us as the Jewish state we are, they will have their state. Israelis like me will vote for far-reaching concessions, wishing our neighbors nothing less than unbounded success and genuine peace.
It is for the West to do what it used to do when it was animated by principle and conviction – to support those countries that embody its values, and to pressure those that do not to embrace the very best of political liberalism.
Israel is a genuine democracy, but the Palestinian Authority is not. Israel has a vital and free press, but the PA represses free expression at every turn. Israel has consistently stated its commitment to the realization of the political aspirations of the Palestinian people, but no Palestinian leader has been willing to state that Israel is the legitimate fulfillment of the national aspirations of the Jewish people.
Which society, then, should the U.S. and Europe be cajoling? Had the West pressured the Palestinians to create a genuine liberal democracy decades ago, Palestinians might have voted for a brighter future and this conflict might well have been resolved.
The writer is chair of the core curriculum at Shalem College in Jerusalem.
(Click on the article’s title to see the whole article…Ed.)