I know that you won’t be happy to hear this, but as someone who cares, I just had to write this letter.
Don’t do it. Or rather, stop doing it before you look even dumber than you already look.
You are using up valuable time, money and most of all, the reputation of the United States by following your obsession.
You’re not the first, but I have to say that it’s often impossible for me to understand some people’s weird obsessions. Like Anthony Weiner, for example. What could he have been thinking?
But I digress. I’m talking about the so-called ‘peace process’ of course, although I devoutly wish it were just another sex scandal. At least sometimes the sex scandals make sense.
Look, you have two groups of Palestinian Arabs, both of which have written charters calling for the violent destruction of Israel, and one of which even wants to murder all the Jews in the world. Members of these groups hate and kill each other, and the only thing they seem to be able to agree on is hating Israel. They both believe that their lands, livelihoods and honor were stolen from them by the Jews in 1948 and they are prepared to struggle and sacrifice for as long as necessary to get them back.
The last thing that either of these groups want is to live peacefully alongside Israel. If there once were any grass-roots Palestinians that did want that, the two main groups have been ‘educating’ their followers with the vilest anti-Jewish and anti-Israel propaganda for decades. And if a leader were to arise that wanted to change that, he would be dead meat, since the nationalist and religious ideologies of these groups are, above all, violent. There is always an aspiring martyr waiting for his virgins.
So when you come along and say to the nationalistic ones “give up your plan to eliminate Israel and we’ll give you money to set up a state alongside it,” they think you must be nuts.
Maybe after they stop being insulted or laughing at your naivete, they’ll string you along: take your money (and weapons if possible), and promise to talk to Israel — after you get Israel to release a few prisoners, stop building, etc. Why not? Whatever they can get for free, they’ll take. Yasser Arafat got billions of dollars for his Swiss bank accounts, plus fame, a private army and much territory by playing this game.
But for some reason, a deal will never get off the ground, no matter how clever. Because they simply are not interested in what you are selling. And even if the nationalist Arabs were, the religious ones wouldn’t go along with them, and would try to overthrow them.
One of the ironies is that the Israeli side — virtually every Israeli — understands this. If they didn’t understand it in 1993 when a few left-wingers maneuvered the government into signing the Oslo accords that even Yitzhak Rabin wasn’t comfortable with, they certainly did after the Second Intifada and the disastrous ‘disengagement’ from Gaza.
But most Israeli officials won’t tell you that (although there are more that would today than in the recent past). They know how important to you it is that there is ‘progress’, and they want your help dealing with the Iranian threat. They want you to sell them F-35’s. So they, too, will go along with the pretense, knowing that the Palestinians will never agree to anything serious. In the meantime, their job is to keep from giving away the store in ‘confidence-building’ concessions.
So here is how you look, John: you are sitting at a table with two sides, and they both think you are the fish, the sucker, the goat, whatever you want to call it.
Isn’t that embarrassing? Don’t you have real work to do?