Israel Once Again Gambles With Peace

About every five yeats an opportunity arises for the people of Israel to take a shot at having peace with Palestinians. Frequently, that opportunity is ruined by a Palestinian leader. But, that opportunity is also frequently ruined by leaders of Israel. Due to strenuous efforts by Secretary of State John Kerry, there is presently another such opporunity. This imposes on those of both sides a need to be sensitive to the desires of the other side in the conflict. That is the essence of successful compromise in negotiation. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has
made a bold move by releasing from jail Palestinians charged with acts of terrorism. However, this wise move is now complicated with his announcement of the construction of 1,200 settlements on the West Bank. This is apparently a quid pro quo for right wing Israel political leaders so they would not oppose release of prisoners.

Build settlements and it will make impossible for Palestinian leaders to agree on a West Bank–their nation– in which Jews dominate the land. In other words, Netanyahu has an opportunity to be a statesman, he is being a politician. The two do not match. We are not arguing about constructing new settlements. They must come as part of an overall settlement with the Palestinian government. That is the path toward long term peace.