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I’m just a guy, standing in front of the world, trying to figure out how to love it...



During an email discussion recently of the horrendous actions of Hamas, a friend of mine who is not Jewish asked a seemingly innocent question: “Given all that’s happened, how can we ever get to peace?”  I suspect most rational people in the West, not directly involved in this conflict are probably asking the same thing.

I think that’s the wrong question though. Or at the very least, it’s based on the wrong assumptions. 


In 1967, shortly after the 6-day war, the Arab nations got together and issued their famous “3 No’s”. No peace with Israel. No recognition of Israel. No negotiations with Israel.”

The summit also resolved that the "oil-rich Arab states" give financial aid to the states who lost the war and to "help them rebuild their military forces." The final communique of the meeting "underscored the Palestinians' right to regain the whole of Palestine—that is, to destroy the State of Israel." The outcome of this summit influenced Israeli foreign policy for decades.

A big part of the issue I have with people wondering how we get to peace, is assuming that it’s just a matter of two Peoples wanting the same thing (land) and being unwilling to budge. That isn’t the case. 

The Arabs surrounding Israel have always made it clear that their goal and intention is the DESTRUCTION of Israel. They have never (until recently) wanted peace.

The Hamas charter explicitly calls for Israel’s destruction, the subjugation of Jews worldwide and
complete opposition to ANY peace with Israel. As Golda Meir famously said, “You cannot negotiate
peace with someone who has come to kill you.”

The media has, for a very long time now, portrayed this conflict in terms that are easy to grasp and tell a good story. You’ve got a powerful oppressor, occupying a land and a helpless victim, “resisting” and just trying to get back their rights. People relate to it and it’s easy to understand. I mean Star Wars is all about the good-guy Rebels standing up to the evil, Imperial Empire...and everyone believes  they’re the Rebels. This story makes us feel good and gives us someone to cheer for.

But it ignores the hatred underpinning much of Middle East policy. We hear about “settlements” as if
they alone are preventing peace. Yet, settlements in the West Bank make up less than 5% of the disputed territory. Israel has repeatedly made peace offers that include additional lands (from inside Israel) such that the overall territory would be about 98 – 104% of its current size. They have never been rejected...the Palestinians have simply walked away without a response. This has happened multiple times. They have literally had numerous peace offers made to them over the decades and they never argued, negotiated or counter-offered. They just...left.

As I said originally, you cannot make peace with someone who wants to kill you. And to put it bluntly, until that mentality changes – not just with the extremists – then peace is simply not possible. But not all Palestinians hate. And that’s when we face the other big challenge. So, what can the Palestinians do to increase their chances of peace?

A strange question, isn’t it? You will never see that asked or analyzed in any media. I have never once seen articles or interviews about what part the Palestinians need to play in the process. It just doesn’t fit

The story that everyone is so invested in.

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