Photo: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO
Netanyahu and Abbas. The world is fed up with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Photo: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO
Eitan Haber

Two reconciliations for two people

Op-ed: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict will likely not end before a peace is achieved between the rival camps in the two populations. Until that happens, we will continue to live in the shadow of terror, and occasionally war, for many more years to come.

Here’s the issue that the world’s residents find most boring at the start of the new year: the terrorist attack in Turkey . Another terrorist attack in Turkey? Didn’t something similar happen there the previous week? "How many reports of terror attacks in Turkey will we have to endure in 2017?' the average citizen across the globe asks himself.



Even the international media were more interested in the death of the mother and daughter, actresses Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, than in the 39 people who died and the dozens who were wounded in a terrorist attack in an Istanbul club.


Scene of stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City last month. We will have to adjust our life here to generations of terror attacks (Photo: Reuters)
Scene of stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City last month. We will have to adjust our life here to generations of terror attacks (Photo: Reuters)


That’s the truth and there is no other: The world is fed up with the Middle East in general, and with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular. And, let’s admit, so are we. Unfortunately, as far as we’re concerned, it’s a matter of life and death – whether we’re fed up with it or not. But in the eyes of many people in the world, any act of terror, any bloodshed, in any corner of the universe, is related to the ongoing conflict in our neighborhood, even when we Israelis have nothing to do with it.


ISIS, the murderous Islamist organization, is responsible for the two recent attacks in Berlin and in Istanbul. What does that have to do with us? But the citizens of China or New Zealand have no time or patience to delve into reasons and processes. As far as they’re concerned, it’s once again “that thing” with the Jews and the Arabs – that’s the reference point to terror, not the bloody conflicts in the Muslim world.


And while we’re discussing “that thing,” the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will likely not end before a reconciliation is reached between the rival camps in the populations of the two people. There will always be someone among them to spoil the party. Here it will likely be a very large group that believes and will continue to believe in the beginning of the growth of our salvation and in our right to the Greater Land of Israel, and will warn the – present or future – leadership against making any far-reaching moves. After the evacuation of Gush Katif and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s difficult experience, it appears that there are no Israeli leaders today who will dare follow in his footsteps. Among the Palestinians, like a mirror image, it will be Hamas that will target anyone who tries to reach a peaceful solution with Israel. The radical forces on both sides are dictating and will dictate the reality map.


Unfortunately, there is only one conclusion from the situation: We will continue to live (and die) for many more years in the shadow of terrorism, and occasionally war. We will have to adjust our life here to generations of terrorist attacks unless a way is found to convince large parts of Israel’s population that almost the entire world is against us and that the Arab world’s population is growing and will cover all of us in the next generation, which is why any solution that is reached now will be better than a future solution. There is a reason why Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is delaying his meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He likely believes that time is on his side and on his people’s side. He is seeing that for himself these days, as 40 families in Amona are driving the Israeli government crazy.


And there is one more conclusion: There will be a need for a major effort in the coming years to reach an internal understanding among ourselves. We will need peace within us before we reach peace with our biggest enemies. At the same time, Abbas or his successors will have to make an effort to deal a serious blow to the opponents of peace on their side and bring about a national Palestinian agreement. Until then, we will probably have to live without peace.


פרסום ראשון: 01.07.17, 23:26
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