After six months of “shuttle diplomacy”, and burning up a hole in his travel budget, Secretary Kerry says “top negotiators” are set to meet to discuss future meetings. Exact details remain under raps by agreement of all invested interest. Hip Hip Hooray?
Still, with everyone’s positions nearly set in stone on the most critical and divisive issues preventing an equitable solution to the decades old conflict, one can hardly fathom the point of entering negotiations at this time or any other. Could it all be just be political stage crafting to fill the U.S.' Middle East foreign policy void? One would be justified in reasoning so, since U.S. foreign policy as it relates to the middle east has appeared rudderless for years.
Bottom line: Neither the extremist types (Yisrael Beiteinu) within the Israeli government nor the hard liners of Hamas will yield to any meaningful compromise. Too much bad blood has been allowed to flow for too long for either to give up or give in now. Certain elements of Israel will settle for nothing less than a racially and religiously purified state for the Jewish People and many Arab and Palestinians would love nothing more than to see the “state of Israel evaporate under the desert sun.
The Impossible Divide
The Israelis have always had designs on expanding its borders for security and prosperity. The Palestinians have always demanded the Israelis discontinue settlement expansion, the right of return to previously confiscated property, the right to self determination, and the right of resistance/self defense. Hence, the right to enjoy, rule and maintain a sovereign nation state of their own. However, without a seismic shift in Israel’s Zionist zeitgeist one can only envision a bloody fight to the bitter end. That is the final solution.
The character of the entire region is currently redefining itself. The upheaval and turmoil will rage on violently for five, maybe ten or more years. As the map of the middle east and northern Africa reshapes itself, the United States/Israeli Union will be forced to accept the reality that the opportunity to reconcile with its neighbors has been missed. There are no more chances.
The two military titans have occupied the disputed territories with an iron hand. The U.S./Israeli Union have mercilessly demeaned the Palestinians with benign overtures for peace cleverly designed to dissolve into chaos and failure. After 60 years of fits and starts, one would have to be a complete idiot not to entertain the probability of those in the driver’s seat intentionally pursuing the status quo.
Now ideologically isolated from the greater international community, the state of Israel as its recognized today and the Unites States’ current levels of regional influence literally hangs by one veto vote on the U.N. Security Council. As a permanent member of said council, the United States has been able to stave off a global confrontation with Israel through the consistent use of its veto power.
With emerging nations clamoring to reform the U.N. Security Council’s current configuration to allow for a more equitable distribution of representation, the United States will not be able to cover Israel’s back as it’s slavishly done so in the past.
This last gasp for peace will end like all previous efforts; in abject failure. The space “Israel” currently occupies will be reconfigured to accommodate new Palestinian realities. Will this new Palestinian reality be realized over night? Hardly, but the world is trending in that direction and there is no foreseeable way to change that trajectory.