What Comes Next??

It becomes increasingly clear that regardless of who is president of the United States of America our foreign policy will not reflect long term thinking. Both George Bush and Barack Obama are more similar than different in their approach to confronting issues in the Middle East. Secretary of State John Kerry has been the only one in our government who thinks in long-term approaches, who seeks to assist in establishing the basis for permanent peace in the Middle East. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is riding the crest of a popular desire by many Israelis for an end to terror. His approach is to “out-terror” any Islamic terrorist. If they kill three Israelis, then he will kill a hundred. If they wound three Israelis, then he will wound 1200 Palestinians. For the short term, this approach might succeed in reducing rockets, but it is not a long term solution. At no point has Netanyahu offered a sensible compromise to the conflict with Palestine leaders other than to insist there will be more and more housing in the West Bank. Is there an end point to these settlements or do they proceed until no Palestinian is left on the West Bank?

Even the American government is now becoming frightened at the aggressive assault on Gaza. It is warning Israel not to send in ground forces. The UN is urging and urging Israel to reduce the assault and once again seek peace through negotiations. Naturally, Israel leaders insist prior efforts have only failed. Naturally, they blame President Abbas. This is the moment for Netanyahu to make a dramatic offer that can not be turned down. What might that be?

1. A promise that no further housing will be built on the West Bank.

2. An economic solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees. The Israel economy can certainly handle one billion a year for the coming two decades.

3. A promise that Israel will initially request the UN to establish a commission that will investigate any Israel complaint prior to massive assault on Palestinians. The commission could not prevent action,but it might slow down the process.

Finally, the time has come for a UN sponsored negotiator who would be charged with proposing the basis of compromise between Israel and Palestinians. Both sides would have to respond to the proposal. The Palestinian delegation would have to include a representative from Hamas if Hamas is still part of the coalition. The Israel delegation would have to include representatives from at least two other Israel political parties. We propose John Kerry as the UN negotiator. This means he would have to resign as US Secretary of State.