One minute with the candidates

Sometimes someone puts an issue so clearly that one wants to broadcast the words to the entire world. Here is an excerpt from an unsigned editorial in the Jerusalem Post today which is like that:

There are, it should be understood, two basic models for looking at the conflict, each of which leads to different policy approaches. The standard model is that Arabs and Israelis have been fighting for years and that blame for perpetuation of the conflict lies with both sides, or perhaps mainly with Israel, since Israel is the “occupying power” and the Palestinians are seeking independence within land held by Israel.

The second model is almost nonexistent in diplomatic circles …[it] holds that the Arab world opposed Israel’s creation, tried many times to destroy Israel, and still has not come to terms with Israel’s right to exist. It is this Arab rejection of Israel, not a supposed Israeli refusal to allow the creation of a Palestinian state, that is the true obstacle to peace…

The question, essentially, is whether the conflict is about borders or existence. If it is about borders, then it is a matter of pressing “both sides” to negotiate a deal. But if the heart of the matter is an Arab refusal to accept Israel in any borders, than the focus must be on compelling the Arab world to take that fundamental step. [my emphasis]

This implies two things:

  • As long as the ‘existence model’ of the conflict is not accepted by those who wish to promote peace, it will not be achieved.
  • Efforts at peacemaking that ignore Arab rejectionism will not only fail, but will actually support the genocidal program of the rejectionists.

If I had one minute with each of our presidential candidates to talk about the conflict, this is what I would tell them.

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