Not only are they ignorant of themselves, they cannot avoid falling into a ditch or stumbling over a rock in the path (perhaps they are bleary-eyed from studying or just absent-minded); yet they claim to know about abstract ideas, universals, separate forms, primary matter, quiddities, and different modes of being – objects so phantasmal I doubt Lynceus himself could make them out.” -- Erasmus, In Praise of Folly (Folly, 56)

"The Peace Process" fell back into coma before coming out of it. No one except Obama and Kerry, of course, expected a different outcome – a miracle of sort.

But the miracle didn’t happen. The talks ended the way they were doomed to end – in a complete fiasco. It was an obvious outcome to anyone even slightly familiar with the Middle East realities. None of the sides was interested in the negotiations in the first place with each side waiting for the “other” to slip up and destroy the negotiations.


There are several reasons to Palestinian reluctance to reach an agreement, each reason is self-sufficient:

  • Abbas can't recognize Israel as a Jewish state, because it contradicts the basic doctrine of Islam that there shouldn’t be a non-Islamic state in a land that Muslims ever occupied. Previously conquered territories by Islam—not only Palestine, but also Andalusia, Sicily and Malta—that were once part of the "Dar al-Islam" ("Land of Islam") must be returned to the eternal possession of Arabs.
  • Modern Islamic theology claims that Jews do not exist as a nation. Muslim theologians refuse to recognize existence of Jewish Kingdoms on Land of Israel. According to them, the First and Second Temple and all Jewish history are fiction and myth. Furthermore, Abraham (Ibrahim), Moses (Musa), David (Daud) and Solomon (Suleiman) are actually the forefathers of Islam, "stolen" by Judaism. Jews do not constitute a nation, they are disparate groups of tribes and ethnos (from the Khazars to the Berbers) practicing Judaism. As such, Jews don’t have a right to own acquire statehood.
  • “Honor” and “Land” are sacral principles of Arab culture. “Honor” does not allow "dhimmi people" to dictate their wish to the "People of Allah". It's forbidden to give away Land to a stranger. Israel, according to this logic, even in the borders of 1967, from Ashkelon (Askelon) to Akre, is an Arabic land. Jordanian king Abdullah I and Anwar Sadat were murdered by Islamic zealots, because they dared to challenge these principles. Let me remind: Abdullah I was assassinated by a zealot in 1951, because of his desire to recognize Israel and make peace with the Jewish state when there were neither "occupied territories" nor settlements or even "Palestinian people" as a nation. There were neither "occupied territories", nor settlements when five Arab states invaded the territory of Israel in May 1948.
  • From Palestinian perspectives, Israel is an alien occupying colonial entity, a tumor on the body of the Arab world. Generations of Palestinians (as well as the Arabs) were brought up on such indoctrination. This ideology was actively promoted by Abbas in schools, in mosques and in the media. PLO's Charter with its initial goal to destroy "the Zionist entity" has not been canceled yet. An instructional book called the Palestinian Terminology Guide, released by the Palestine Authority (PA) Ministry of Information, suggests alternative meanings to the following terms: "Israel" is replaced by "The Israeli Colonialist Occupation", "Israel's Defense Minister" by "Israeli Minister of War", "Suicide Bombing" by "Martyrdom-Seeking Operation", "Temple Mount" by "Hiram al-Sharif", "Wailing Wall" by "Al-Buraq Wall" and, finally, "Star of David" by "Six-pointed Star".
  • Abbas, like his predecessor Arafat, has never been a statesman, seeking peaceful and realistic solution to the Middle East crisis. He represents a generation of revolutionary "national liberation movement", nurtured in The Peoples' Friendship University in the USSR. Their task was not to create, but to destroy; not peaceful resolution, but violent struggle. Many "useful idiots" in the West allows Palestinians to realize that tasks gradually through unilateral actions without any agreements with Israel. Their position is ideal: doing absolutely nothing (except constantly complaining about the Israeli occupation), they receive practically everything without jeopardizing themselves. The subsidies that PA has received since 1993 could’ve turned the West Bank and Gaza into a second Singapore; however, all the funds have mysteriously vanished in Ramallah. (According to a draft report from the European Court, a total of 2.5 billion EUR in aid from the EU to Gaza and PA has disappeared without a trace). In an interview to The New York Times, former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad bitterly, said: "Our story is a story of failed leadership, from early on… It is incredible that the fate of the Palestinian people has been in the hands of leaders so entirely casual, so guided by spur-of-the-moment decisions… we hold ourselves hostage to our own rhetoric."
  • Abbas is a mere party functionary, an apparatchik, and a conformist. He is lacking the vision of Anwar Sadat, and the dignity of King Hussein. His main aim is to preserve his own wealth, which is estimated at $100 million, and prosperity of his sons, who own the largest businesses in PA. He is not interested in playing the "Russian roulette". He knows that he is not legitimate anymore (recent elections in PA that were supposed to be held back in 2010 were postponed under different pretexts). Any careless step would mean death sentence to him, as he has no deficit of enemies within the PA—from "young wolfs" in FATH to HAMAS.

Resentment of Israelis is a result of sad empirical experience. In the early 1990s, most of the Israeli public supported the peace agreements and concessions, but their optimism soon faded away. Twice (Ehud Barak at Camp David in 2000 and Ehud Olmert in Annapolis in 2008) Israel has offered the Palestinians (Arafat and Abbas respectively) maximum concessions: 95-98% of the West Bank (with the option of exchange for other territories) and East Jerusalem (within frame works of Clinton’s plan), plus 20 billion dollars for settlement of Palestinian refugees in West Bank and Gaza. Olmert was even ready to consider the return of approximately 100,000 Palestinian refugees to Israel and allowing "safe passage" between Gaza and the Judea. He even offered to transfer the control of the Temple Mount to a joint consortium of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the U.S., Israel and the PLO. Abbas refused.

Waves of deadly terror in the mid 1990s and especially during "second intifada" of 2002 took life of thousands of Israelis, which has become the toughest collective trauma for the Israelis. In addition, since the unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, people of southern Israel, for the last 10 years, have lived in a state of constant fear of rocket attacks by Islamic Jihad, HAMAS and other Jihadi groups in Palestine.

In a situation where every attempt to achieve peace turned into bloody outcome, the majority of Israelis have lost interested in the process. Attention of the Israeli society has shifted to domestic issues instead—to economy and social justice.

Had Kerry bothered even a little to acquaint himself about the Israel-Palestinian reality, he wouldn’t have had to bang his head against the wall. The Obama-Kerry team may have dreamt of winning the Nobel Peace Prize by shoving a doomed-to-fail resolution down the throats of the Palestinians and Israelis, it could have been much more realistic to deal with problems of hunger and diseases in Africa, the fight against drug cartels, or the achievement of peace in Colombia in America's backyard. It can be handy for the Obama administration to bear in mind Einstein’s words: "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".

But then, human folly is boundless.

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