|Dr. Daniel Gordis talks about the "demise of the peace addiction"|
We gave peace a chance -Daniel Gordis
[T]he prescription for resolution of the conflict was clear – we would give land, and we would get peace. The only question was when.
We were not the only ones who believed that, of course. A significant portion of Israeli society believed the same thing – until the Palestinian Terror War (mistakenly called the second intifada) – that is. Those four years destroyed the Israeli political Left because they washed away any illusions Israelis might have had that the Palestinian leadership was interested in a deal.
And, to be fair, why should the Palestinians be interested in a deal? Their position gets stronger with each passing year. No longer pariahs, they are now the darlings of the international community. They have seen the world shift from denying the existence of a Palestinian people to giving them observer status at the UN. If you were the leader of the Palestinian Authority, would you make a deal now? Of course not. With the terms bound to get sweeter in years to come, only a fool would sign now.
On the one hand, our region is becoming ever more dangerous and our foes ever more honest about their desire to destroy the Jewish state. And on the other hand, much of the world insists that “land for peace” simply must work; some American Jewish leaders actually urged Israel, even in the midst of the Gaza conflict, to return to the negotiating table. It would be funny were it not so sad and so dangerous.
Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party’s website makes no mention of going back to the negotiating table.
Neither does the Labor Party platform.
Even Meretz recently acknowledged that Oslo is dead.
To give up hope for peace is not to choose war. Egypt’s present and Jordan’s future indicate how little is guaranteed by a treaty; the Palestinian present shows that we can have quiet even in the face of stalemate. What Israelis now want is quiet, and a future. Nothing more, nothing less. And most importantly, no more illusions.
The demise of the peace addiction is no cause for celebration; it is merely cause for relief. There is something exhausting about living a life of pretense.