If Thomas Friedman was really interested in peace talks starting up again and in those peace talks being successful he would implore President Obama to make it clear to the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab/Islamic world to “just knock it off”, not the Israelis. As things stand now, peace with Israel is not possible because of their attitudes and behavior. They can’t even bring themselves to recognize Israel’s existence, so how can they negotiate a real and lasting peace with her?
Friedman should know that the settlements are merely a ploy, a diversion, a red herring and are not an impediment to negotiations or a positive conclusion to any that might take place. The fact of the matter is that Israelis could agree to every single demand that is made upon them and Palestinians and the Arab/Islamic world would still not be satisfied. There wouldn’t be peace no matter what Israelis did because her adversaries don’t want it. What they really want is to remove Israel from the face of the earth, to wipe it off the map, to destroy it.
That is the root of the conflict in the Middle East and always has been and nothing will change until that does. It in turn will never change unless President Obama or one of his successors tells them in no uncertain terms that it has to and until it does the United States will not have anything to do with phony peace processes because they are nothing more than charades and a waste of time and energy.
Obama will almost assuredly not do anything as emminently sensible as that but it is precisely what Friedman should be pushing him towards. It is the Palestinians and the Arab/Islamic world that needs to “knock it off” because they simply cannot be taken seriously until they do.
Thomas, you can blame Islam, blame anti-semitism, blame the blindness, laziness and collusion of the media, blame the racist United Nations or the heretofore weak-kneed United States and it’s hypocritical and feckless President Barack Hussein Obama, blame whatever and whoever you want but you can’t blame settlements or Israelis or Prime Minister Netanyahu for the disintegration of the current peace talks. Not if you want to be seen as an honest, unbiased, knowledgeable observer that is.