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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Why the Arab-Israeli Peace Process Failed—and How We Should Redesign It – Tablet Magazine

Why the Arab-Israeli Peace Process Failed—and How We Should Redesign It – Tablet Magazine

1 comment:

  1. PEACE or WAR processed and is processing, still ... ; Overestimating the power of politics and dramatically underestimating the importance of culture has actually hindered the possibility for a political solution. For Jews, especially progressive Jews, the early second decade of the 21st century poses a particularly interesting and painful meditation just in time for Yom Kippur: In our quest for “fairness,” for splitting the blame evenly, for misidentifying problems as political and therefore easily solvable—so easily solvable they could be dispatched with a simple email, as one exasperated BBC anchor put it recently—are we actually working against both parties in the conflict?

    I believe the answer is yes. And those who wish to pursue a peaceful resolution need to take a hard look at the cultural difference between Israelis and Arabs—and craft policy that confronts it.


    Any approach that pays heed to cultural issues yields a very different view as to why the conflict persists. The zero-sum logic of Arab attitudes toward Israel does not represent merely the choices made by politicians, but Islamic religiosity and deep-seated cultural mores. From the Arab perspective, the very existence of Israel represents a stain on Arab honor and a blasphemy to Islam’s dominion in Dar al Islam. Some, like the Palestinian Authority, may have made a tactical shift in which they will, despite the shame of it, talk with Israelis and even make public agreements. But they have treated such engagement as a Trojan horse, a feint to position for further war. Within this cultural context, the peace process has actually served as a war process.