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Peace in the middle east

01/30/2020 03:59:24 PM

Jan30

Shalom Lewis, Rabbi Emeritus

The Deal of the Century is not a new TV game show but the long-awaited plan for the stalled Israel-Palestinian peace talks. Introduced this week, it was praised by some, vilified by others. Was it an authentic, creative break through or Oval Office hyperbole?

 

The debate begins, but there are new factors that cannot be dismissed. The support of the Saudis and the infusion of billions of dollars into the treasury of the P.A.. Abbas has already described the proposal as ‘…the slap of the century’ and in poetic Arabic declared ‘We say a 1,000 no’s, to this deal’. Arafat blew off generous offers repeatedly and I suspect that Abbas will follow in his obstinate footsteps proving once again, Abba Eban’s cynical eloquence that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

 

The astonishing chutzpa of the Palestinians is remarkably mystifying. They hold no cards. Have no leverage. Bring virtually nothing to the table. Yet are on the brink of another legendary blunder. Defiantly they proclaim, ‘If there is no return to the ’67 borders and no right of return, there will be no discussions. No peace.’ I understand hard ball, but the Palestinians refuse to even enter the stadium. Their game plan is not strategic brilliance, but an infantile miscalculation of their growing isolation and irrelevance.

 

Israel is flourishing and the Arabs are losing patience. The peace plan is a beginning not a binary, final ‘take it or leave it’. Israelis know it. The Palestinians do not. If there is a sit down there will be adjustments and compromises but not if Ramallah maintains an childish boycott. After half a century of rejected peace plans, Abbas in his twilight needs vision and courage. Deliver an imperfect peace. A modest state but a hopeful, promising future or deliver nothing but continued humiliation and a stifling status quo.

 

I am not holding my breath. I hear Abba Eban in the wind.

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Tue, April 7 2020 13 Nisan 5780