07 February 2010

Abbas Speaks to the Knesset

07 February 2010

Abbas Speaks to the Knesset!

The Basis for a Believable Peace Agreement

From the Israeli point of view, a compromise over territory is both conceivable and feasible – if not wildly popular. However, it is only feasible for a believable and reliable peace with the Palestinians and the Arab states. If such a deal were ever close, Israeli public opinion would be so relieved to reach an end to the conflict that it would be irresistible. As a result, any government that refused to make such a deal would be untenable. Those on the left and peace wings of Israeli politics would then have a golden opportunity to come in from the cold to save the day.

As it is, this is fantasy. And this is why those who adhere to it, despite their knowledge and media access in Israel, enjoy only derisory public support. By this I mean ‘Peace Now’ and similar organisations, well-known figures such as Gershon Baskin, Amos Oz and his political associates, and the entire Israeli left who all share a willingness to ignore the depth and strength of the dominant Palestinian narrative and its hatred of Israel. It is hardly the case, of course, that the peace and left movements in Israel are blind to this. It is more the case that they are ideologically in sympathy with it by their adherence to a naive or soft version of the Palestinian narrative. This cripples their capacity to produce policies to grapple with it.