Please tell me yes! It may well have been true in the past that the Arab nations missed opportunities for peace with Israel, but now the ball is more and more in Israel’s court. How does the oft-parroted line about Israel being the beleaguered peace seeker amidst the Arab warmongers survive since the Arab League in 2002 offered Israel full recognition throughout its 22 member states in exchange for a peace settlement? The offer was renewed yesterday by a re-ratification of the Arab League’s assembly of foreign ministers.
This preceded an offer of a ceasefire by Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal. With Gazans demonstrating for continued armed conflict, this sounds like a stupid thing to turn down.
But I shouldn’t be eager to condemn any side for perceived intransigence because Gerson Baskin and Hanna Siniora, co-directors of the Israel-Palestine Center for Research and Information have been traveling the country touting their middleman position in not-so-secret negotiations between Israel and Hamas for the return of Gilad Shalit, for a Hamas-Israel one-year ceasefire, and between Israel and the PLO for a final settlement. Read it in JPost.
What lacks on both sides, the two say, is political chutzpah. And it’s almost certainly true, despite whether they’re really said shuttle pigeons.
Either way, the mantra that the Arabs resist peace at every turn should be shucked by the wayside. It’s just as incumbent on Israel to not blow these opportunities — and on Americans to do our part too.