MIDEAST PEACE DEAL AT HAND?
Global Pressure Intensifies as Israeli-Palestinian Peace Deal Looms
For decades, the world has been hoping and praying for peace in the Holy Land. However, after numerous failed attempts at a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians, the hope for a lasting peace in the region has greatly diminished. Despite the failures of the past, the quest for “peace and security” continues…
For the last several months, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been preparing a peace “framework” to once and for all settle the deepest issues that divide the Israeli and Palestinian peoples. Kerry’s framework, which has yet to be released, is ambitious in its scope as it reportedly seeks to resolve regional border disputes and security concerns, as well as other core issues such as the question of the Palestinian refugees and the ultimate status of Jerusalem. While it is not a hard deadline, the U.S. has imposed a timetable that seeks to bring both sides to the peace table by April 29 (approx. three months away). Based upon the inflammatory rhetoric surrounding the upcoming peace deal, Kerry’s soft deadline appears virtually impossible to maintain.
In order to obtain “peace and security” within the region, both sides are being asked to concede and compromise. However, the Palestinians will be required to do what so far has been considered to be the unthinkable: Recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Israel has already stated that without this recognition on the part of the Palestinians, there can be no peace deal. PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas summed up his thoughts on the matter during an interview with the New York Times over the weekend stating that recognition of Israel as a Jewish state “is out of the question.”
Enter Iran. During an interview on German television on Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said: “Once the Palestinian problem is solved the conditions for an Iranian recognition of Israel will be possible.” This shocking statement by one of Iran’s top government officials is unusual. Sure, it could just be mere “talk”, but the idea of potentially recognizing Israel’s right to sovereignty over their own land is not something that Israel’s enemies have seriously suggested in the past.
Global pressure is mounting on both the Israelis and the Palestinians to make peace, and to do it soon. The EU has been threatening Israel with punitive economic measures and “increased isolation” if the peace deal fails. Meanwhile, the U.S. has issued its own veiled threats to Israel. Global leaders know that without resolving this age-old problem, political and economic progress within the Middle East will remain at a virtual standstill. As in most things in this world, economic incentives are driving the current push for peace in the region. I believe that the “peace” being promised to Israel will be nothing more than a false peace. The trap has been set. Will Israel bite? Stay tuned…
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