Once upon a time, a long, long time ago there was a solid and hard working bloc of people in Israel who desired to live in peace with their Palestinian neighbors. Leaders such as Yasser Arafat and President Abbas rejected offers that might have resulted in finally resolving the conflict with Israel. Unfortunately, for peace in the Middle East, Benjamin Netanyahu became prime minister and proceeded to play on fear and hysteria to halt any progress in the pursuit of peace. Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas told Russian President Putin that it was time to once again take another effort for peace in the Middle East.
“Although the chances for this may not be great, we still hope to reach a political settlement on the basis of the principle of a two-state solution.” The alternative is maintaining the status quo which simply reduces any opportunity for peace in our time. Peace requires Israel to make still another effort, it requires Palestinians to accept a compromise that does not include return of refugees. After all, Jewish refugees who fled for their lives in 1948 from Arab lands will not be returning to their homes of businesses.