Everyone is talking about ‘peace’ talks. The basic assumption is that peace talks are supposed to bring peace. The ‘problems’ that ‘peace’ is supposed to solve are common knowledge: There is the security problem, the demographic problem, the problem of Palestinian nationalism competing with Israel over the same piece of land, the international – particularly US- pressure, and some add the economic problem. But even a superficial analysis of the ‘problems’ reveals that none of them are motivating Israel’s ‘peace’ talks.
Peace cannot be defined as the goal of a state. Peace is the result of the proper definition of a state’s goal and the achievement of that goal. If peace is our goal, then it can be achieved more easily in other locations (Australia, or Uganda, for example), by surrendering our sovereignty (what’s so bad about the British flag?) or by assimilation.
Security cannot possibly be the problem we are trying to solve: The more that we progress in the ‘peace process’, the more our national and personal security deteriorates. Suicide bombers were not blowing up buses and restaurants and missiles were not crashing into Tel Aviv and Jerusalem prior to the ‘diplomatic process’. Our cumulative experience proves that our desire for security should distance us from any diplomatic process. If we continue to sacrifice our citizens ‘for the sake of peace’, then security is not what is motivating our participation in the ‘peace’ process.
Demography is not the problem, either. The average Tel-Avivian no longer has fewer children than her neighbor in Ramallah. Just the opposite is true. According to the American Israel Demographic Research Group, if the current birthrates continues in conjunction with a proactive aliyah policy, the Jewish majority in Israel will upgrade from 66% currently to 80% by 2035. In other words, even without a diplomatic process, the Jewish majority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea – including the Arabs of Judea and Samria – will be 80% within the next 20 years.
‘Palestinian’ nationalism was artificially constructed in response to Zionism. When this land was under Arab sovereignty – Jordanian or Egyptian – the problem did not exist. If Israel would disappear off the map, G-d forbid, ‘Palestinian Nationalism” would disappear with it. On Feb. 18, 1947, British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, not an ardent Zionist by any stretch of the imagination, addressed the British parliament to explain why the UK was taking “the question of Palestine,” which was in its care, to the United Nations. He opened by saying that “His Majesty’s government has been faced with an irreconcilable conflict of principles.” He then goes on to describe the essence of that conflict: “For the Jews, the essential point of principle is the creation of a sovereign Jewish state. For the Arabs, the essential point of principle is to resist to the last the establishment of Jewish sovereignty in any part of Palestine.” There isn’t really ‘Palestinian’ nationality. There is the Arab Nation that does not accept Jewish sovereignty over any part of Israel. Thus, solving the (non-existent) ‘Palestinian’ problem will not solve the fundamental conflict; Arab opposition to any Israeli sovereignty. This is also the reason that a ‘Palestinian’ state has not yet been established and will never be established, despite the fact that never in history has a state been offered to any group on a platter more silver than what is being offered to the ‘Palestinians.’ They simply do not want a state.
International pressure is also not the problem, for it always increases in direct proportion to Israel’s participation in diplomatic processes. Before the Oslo Accords, there was a major question mark hovering over the legitimacy of the PLO and its leaders. No such question mark existed over the right of the Jews to have their own state. Today, after twenty years of ‘diplomatic processes’ the situation is reversed. We recognize them, but they do not recognize us. The Americans, however, are not willing to demand recognition of Israel as a condition for negotiations. In other words, the diplomatic process intensifies international pressure and cannot be an excuse for its existence.
This brings us to the supposed economic problem. The diplomatic process will not solve it. On the contrary: As we learned the hard way, the Oslo Accords consume 10% of our state budget annually; approximately one trillion shekels since they were signed. Over the past years, Israel is approaching the status of an economic superpower – not because of the diplomatic process, but despite it.
So if it is not peace, not security, not demography, not ‘Palestinian nationalism’, not international pressure and not economy, what exactly are we negotiating about? What are we trying to achieve? Hint: It has to do with trying to flee our identity and destiny.