Dennis Ross starts to get it
Former peace processor Dennis Ross has finally started to get it. In an op-ed in Monday's New York Times, he seems to finally recognize that the 'Palestinians' aren't willing to compromise... on anything
2000, there have been three serious negotiations that culminated in
offers to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Bill Clinton’s
parameters in 2000, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s offer in
2008, and Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts last year. In each
case, a proposal on all the core issues was made to Palestinian leaders
and the answer was either “no” or no response. They determined that the
cost of saying “yes,” or even of making a counteroffer that required
concessions, was too high.
political culture is rooted in a narrative of injustice; its
anticolonialist bent and its deep sense of grievance treats concessions
to Israel as illegitimate. Compromise is portrayed as betrayal, and
negotiations — which are by definition about mutual concessions — will
inevitably force any Palestinian leader to challenge his people by
making a politically costly decision.
But going to the United Nations
does no such thing. It puts pressure on Israel and requires nothing of
the Palestinians. Resolutions are typically about what Israel must do
and what Palestinians should get. If saying yes is costly and doing
nothing isn’t, why should we expect the Palestinians to change course?
why European leaders who fervently support Palestinian statehood must
focus on how to raise the cost of saying no or not acting at all when
there is an offer on the table.
not wait? If a new Israeli government after the elections is prepared
to take a peace initiative and build settlements only on land that is
likely to be part of Israel and not part of Palestine, there will be no
need for a United Nations resolution.
not, and the Europeans decide to pursue one, it must be balanced. It
cannot simply address Palestinian needs by offering borders based on the
1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps and a capital in Arab East
Jerusalem without offering something equally specific to Israel —
namely, security arrangements that leave Israel able to defend itself by
itself, phased withdrawal tied to the Palestinian Authority’s
performance on security and governance, and a resolution of the
Palestinian refugee issue that allows Israel to retain its Jewish
all likelihood the Palestinians would reject such a resolution.
Accepting it would require compromises that they refused in 2000, 2008
and 2014. There is, of course, no guarantee that the next Israeli
government would accept such a resolution. But the Israelis are not the
ones pushing for United Nations involvement. The Palestinians are. And
if their approach is neither about two states nor peace, there ought to
be a price for that.
requires accountability on both sides. It’s fair to ask the Israelis to
accept the basic elements that make peace possible — 1967 lines as well
as land swaps and settlement building limited to the blocks. But isn’t
it time to demand the equivalent from the Palestinians on two states for
two peoples, and on Israeli security? Isn’t it time to ask the
Palestinians to respond to proposals and accept resolutions that address
Israeli needs and not just their own?
And if the 'Palestinians' won't compromise, Dennis, what should happen? Do we sit frozen in time? Much more from my friend David Gerstman here
Labels: Barack Hussein Obama, Dennis Ross, Palestinian state RIGHT NOW syndrome, Palestinians, United Nations Security Council