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New round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Does anyone have any real hope?

Before I go any further let me clarify something:
I'm an Israeli trying to get a hold of an outsider's view of the issue. I am not here to start a flame war, or figure out who's in the right and who's in the wrong--both of those terms are relative, and the answer is merely a function of who you ask.

Now that we got that out of the way, does anyone feel this new round of talks will actually lead somewhere?
I don't know what it's like when viewed from without, but it seems to me that the general consensus among both Jews and Palestinians is that the talks will lead nowhere, just like the last round of talks, and the one before that, and the one before that.

There is a lot of bad blood, and everything from legitimate concerns to childish accusations from both sides of the fence. Non-negotiable describes many of the issues accurately, which is something of an oxymoron with what the talks are trying to accomplish.

Even if some agreement is achieved, the more moderate Fatah organization Israel is talking to has no presence in Gaza (were Hamas rules, and they won't negotiate on religious ground), and Israel's internal politics are anything but stable. If by some miracle an agreement is reached, will it be worth more than the paper its written on?

Again, I'm just trying to get a feel for what this whole conflict looks like to an outsider, and to ask if anyone out there still thinks this will end with anything other than a unilateral declaration of independence and who knows how much more violence?

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    Aug 21 2013: I don't see the flexibility in Mr. Netanyahu to get to a fair settlement. He can't expect the Palestinians to accept the encroachment of settlements, and he doesn't have the political nerve to give up that policy. I think negotiations must be approached from a different standpoint, namely from the most basic needs of the two entities.

    Two axioms:
    1. Palestine will become a state, i.e., there will be a two-state solution. Knowing the inevitability of this, it's a mystery why the current politicians would not want to be remembered as the ones who brought about peace and security.
    2. No new land is available, so both Israel and Palestine must fit into the existing total area of the two entities.

    Then, two constraints:
    3. Each country must be made up of one continuous territory. Here the UN failed, because they wanted to minimize the uprooting of people. But which is more important? Whether a generation is required to move, or whether the country can survive? No country has survived as disconnected bits, where citizens must cross through another not-always-friendly country to reach another part of their own country. Pakistan broke up over that, and Azerbaijan & Armenia are suffering through the same. It's better to require people to move than to fail to get a sustainable state. This constraint seems hardly to have been considered, yet it is absolutely necessary for national survival. Palestine won't survive as "Gaza & West Bank".

    4. Each entity has access to the Mediterranean, and won't give that up. A port is a necessity. If we insist on these last two constraints, as I think we must, the kind of borders we get become almost forced. I suggested this last year in a short essay at: http://www.blueridgejournal.com/brj-israel-palestine.htm

    The end solution to these constraints is one northerly country and one southerly country, as suggested at the link above. (Yes, I know about the religious difficulties, but I still judge the above constraints as more critical.)
  • Jul 26 2013: As long as either side wants to create division and separation then no real hope exists. If someone was to say however, we should make a new country with a new name where all can live without fear of being attacked then we have a start on something new.
    • Jul 26 2013: What, the one state for two people solution?
      I give it ten-twenty years of civil unrest until the whole thing disintegrates into a civil war.

      The division doesn't just magically go away if erase the border. Nor does the bad blood. There is a reason no one is taking the one state solution seriously, it'll only deteriorate the existing situation.
  • Jul 25 2013: Your comment:
    "Does anyone have real hope?" The answer is no, because hope is not real to begin with.
    It is a false concept. But,
    from what I see,
    neither side wants peace, settlement or resolution.
    Each side only wants to win the entire argument, be right and make the other wrong.
    At least by those who are able to do the talking, make the decisions and take the actions.

    It reminds me of the debates that have taken place between those of science and those who
    believe in a God. Neither side is willing nor wants to build a bridge between the two. They only
    want to win the fight, be right, prove the other wrong, when I do believe the majority of people
    would love to have a bridge built. Neither side can prove their position and neither will ever do so.
    They need one another to make and prove a claim. Those who suggest building a "synthesis of knowing",
    a bridge as it were, are pushed aside, ridiculed, minimized and denied even being heard.

    I think what would work would be for all Palestinians to simply walk to Israel, arms raised, and offer
    themselves to Israel to be shot to death en mass.
    Yes, they very well might do this, but then the world would see who they really are, and so too, might
    they also see who they are. One problem is that they would continue to claim they are right even
    thought they would clearly be wrong.
    I know there are many on both sides who do not hate each other, do not want to kill each other and would
    be more than willing to live with each other, sharing, learning and loving rather than fighting and killing.
    So, who doesn't want this? The leaders, mostly.

    I know an Irishman, from the IRA who had his leg blown off by the British. I know an Englishman, who as a soldier
    in that long standing conflict, had his head blown to pieces and the pieces of his skull put back together.
    They know each other, are friends and both realize how they were cruelly used by their own respective countries and governments.
    Land only belongs to native peoples
    • Jul 25 2013: For starters, good luck trying to decide who the natives, and who are the invaders here.
      Even if this wasn't the case, the vast majority of Israelis by this stage are second or third generation, at least. They were born there, they're not exactly outsiders.
      The Palestinian nationalist sentiments are also relatively speaking, new. The region has changed hands so many times over the last few centuries, that the Palestinians never got around to developing any nationalism of their own until recently.

      I'm also afraid that the overly militant leaders represent the general public better than you think.
      I'm not saying there are no level headed people on both sides, but lets be honest here. Israeli leaders are democratically elected--there are a lot of intolerant, racist leaders because there are a lot of racist, intolerant Israelis. Democracy means embracing the bad ideas together with the good ones, and deciding which is which by popular vote--the process doesn't always work as well as advertised.
      The Palestinian leadership also reflects the attitude of its people more than you think. Or at least the west bank leadership, not so sure about Hamas over in Gaza.
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    Jul 25 2013: Israel needs buffer zone real estate to survive. To give it away would be to lose the battle for survival as a nation. Israel rightfully owns the land. There is no hope for peace between Israel (the sons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), and the Islamic world (the sons of Abraham and Ishmael). Peace in the Middle East has been on the short list of every US Administration since Eisenhower. Even Barack Hussein Obama has failed to broker peace between Jews and Arabs. Hmmm. Sorry. There is no real hope for peaceful coexistence.
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    Jul 25 2013: As for an outside view, and being German, I can tell you, that the 'Israeli-Palestinian' issue is a very sensitive topic in my country. Sensitive in the favor of Israel, as it can easily become an internal political pitfall to be to critical about your state in this context. It is exactly the 'to' in 'to critical' which makes this topic so difficult on 'the public stage'.

    Personally I signed a petition to grant Palestine international recognition to accept all Palestinians people legally and to open to them access to the International Criminal Court of Justice.

    Regarding negotiations, their ending usually marks the beginning of conflicts on international levels, but I can also understand, that it has a tiring effect on any hope for things to improve, if they start over and over again yet with no results.

    Maybe a movement similar to this one, could open up a whole new level of understanding in between you people, which may then influence the politics on both sides to wise agreements:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/israel_and_iran_a_love_story.html
    • Jul 25 2013: I don't think you understand quite how much bad blood there is between the two sides.

      Most everyone knows someone who died in a war or in a terrorist attack, and not just fighters, civilians die all the time.
      Israelis still don't trust a word the other side says since the second Intifada (terrorist attacks on the order of 2-3 a week for a period of years tend to have that effect), and the Palestinians are feeling the burden of occupation as part of their every day lives. I'm pretty sure they don't trust a word the Israelis are saying either.

      While negotiations are a necessary step towards ending conflict, they are not a guarantee. Negotiations fail all the time.

      You'll notice the Palestinians going on about per-conditions as a requirement for negotiation. They've basically started working on the assumption that Israel needs the talks more than they do for its image in the world, and thinking the talks will fail from the onset, that's their way of making sure they don't come out empty handed.

      Even without the bad blood, there is so much jealous possession of worthless land (make no mistake, outside of Jerusalem, most of it is of no special value) on both sides, and religious and nationalist fanatics trying to instigate violence to sink the negotiations...
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    Jul 24 2013: I am not an astute observer of foreign relations, but I am not optimistic of seeing peaceful relations there in my lifetime. There have been too many generations of hatred and distrust on both sides and little inclination to forgive and start over.