|Lennon Memorial in Central Park, New York City|
A Strategy for Peace with the Palestinians -Max Singer
Peace is not possible now because Palestinian society is not yet ready to give up the goal that it has shared with the Arab world since before Israel was created:
to prevent the establishment of and eliminate the existence of a Jewish country.
This can be known from the statements and actions of Palestinian leaders. It is confirmed by the Palestinian leadership's denial of Jewish history in the land and the systematic teaching of hatred of both Israel and the Jewish people in
Palestinian schools and official propaganda.
The current political environment in the Arab-Muslim world is too hostile towards Israel and the West for there to be any hope of a decisive change in Palestinian opinion at this time. It is only when the Arab-Muslim debate about hostility to the non-Muslim world changes that the Palestinians will be able to consider giving up their goal of eliminating Israel. Eventually, there will be Palestinians who lead their people away from war.
The most effective way for Israel to pursue peace is to act to convince Palestinians that Israel wholeheartedly believes in its own rights to the land, has an unshakeable determination to protect itself against all challenges, and is growing in power. When more of the Arab world is ready to give up its effort to defeat the West and the goal of removing the Jewish state from "Muslim territory," there will be opportunities to pursue peace.
The writer is a Senior Fellow and Trustee Emeritus at the Hudson Institute.
(Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)