Comments: Incrementaled to Death: Peacemaking in the Middle East

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Josh  Weiss  jweiss@law.harvard.edu     01/22/04
An important response
David, I obviously disagree with your assessment -- both in terms of the potential for a negotiated solution and your gross generalization of Palestinian people and society. Certainly reform is needed with the Palestinian government and I would argue in the Israeli government as well. However, your characterization of Palestinians makes one believe that they are simply not capable of making peace, which I wholeheartedly disagree with. Sincerely, Josh Weiss

david trombka  trombka@netvision.net.il     01/15/04
Dear Joshua, The problem with your appraoch is that there is an underlying assumption that all conflicts are negotiable, or subject to mediated conflict resolution. This is not the case. The Palestinian-Israel conflict is not, and indeed never was, a political conflict that give and take can solve. It is, and always was, a manifestation of moral decadence and anti-Semitism on the part of the Arabs. I do not mean to say that the Palestinians do not have legitimate gripes, but I do mean to say that whatever their gripes, they are currently not capable of peace. Just look at Palestinian society itself. They rape, loot, rob and murder eachother with hardly any restraint. They kill young women for looking the wrong way at men and send teenagers and even married women to act as suicide bombers. Only when their society becomes much less bloodthirsty, even amongst themselves - and only when basic human rights become a part of the overall Palestinian consciousness, will peace have a chance. Only then can mediation work. By continuing to view every problem as political, rather than moral, we will miss the boat constantly. And even worse, the bloodshed caused by false negotiation strategies, as you so correctly notice, may continue.

Kent    09/02/03
Joshua, I wish it were as simple as Israeli Settlements, and the Palestinian Right of Return. You have the issue reversed. The Palistinian Aribs do not accept the Israeli Right of Retutn. I feel great regret at the opportunity for mutual development that has been squandered by stupidity.

Josh    08/21/03
Regarding your comments Gil
Gil, Thanks for your posting. Actually, I think that what I was suggesting is different in a few ways. First, the Camp David meeting did try to address many core issues, but left out some that were key to the overall settlement (i.e. the issue of return). Second, because things were not agreed to then does not mean they would not be agreed to now -- as the situation has deteriorated badly. Maybe the time is ripe with the new players to take this type of dramatic step and put the spoilers on the sidelines once and for all. Third, I also strongly urged that the "third side" be given a critical role in the peace process so the people on the ground have ownership. Nothing of this sort was mentioned at Camp David and this is really a critical element to the success of the process. A good example of the third side in peace processes is South Africa and the National Peace Accord structure. The National Peace Committees, Regional Peace Committees, and Local Peace Committees all played an important role in keeping the process on track. I look forward to your reply! Best Josh Weiss

Gil , Israel   08/21/03
it was done
What you suggests was already done. In the year 2000 (in much better political condition) priminister Barak tried to talk in Camp-David about the core issues and to reach an agreement which will end the dispute, with regard to all disagreements. It failed - and set off this horoble bloodshade. I do agree that some dramatic steps are needed. But which?

Adrienne Prince, Ventura CA   08/09/03
Thank You
I'm so glad to see that there are people involved in thinking of an innovative approach to this conflict. How would you go about introducing this idea to the parties involved?