It’s time to wonder whether Israel and Palestine will ever be able to move out of the moral abyss into which they’ve plunged themselves, and address the threat of peace.
“Threat” is the right term. Because peace is dangerous for leaders in the Middle East.
It always has been. But back in the early 1990s, Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who hated everything the other stood for, knew that each had his reasons for working for peace. Just possibly, they imagined, peace would be better than war for future generations. Certainly it would not be as wasteful.
The tragic truth is that positions have hardened now. Today’s rulers, singularly unimaginative and reactive, are not vessels aching to be filled with the potion of peace. Both Rabin and Arafat learned in brutal fashion that working toward peace is a perilous, risky business.
After this past decade, can the two sides ever be courageous enough to move beyond their twisted mutual history toward shaky and precarious chairs at the peace table?