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Western policy responses to the growing Middle Eastern turmoil in the last two years have ranged from delusion to paralysis. After prematurely welcoming democracy, Western powers have by and large disengaged. This is not without merits — the region's momentous historical changes are largely beyond the reach of Western influence. 

Unfortunately, the West has still not come to terms with reality when it comes to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Despite decades of failed diplomatic efforts, Western leaders are still obsessed with finding a lasting solution, thus appearing oblivious to the daunting challenges such a goal faces in the increasingly ebullient regional environment.

Whether peace is attainable remains to be seen. In any case, it requires discarding the following six mistaken assumptions that have driven successive diplomatic efforts to complete failure.

 

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David Guy
August 8th, 2013
9:08 AM
Western efforts are an example of the classic 'looking for a lost wallet under the lamp post' paradigm. It's not where you lost it but the light is much better there. At least with Israel they have a certain amount of influence and respect. They don't face the certain humiliation that would occur had they tried to 'solve' the centuries old problems of the Arab World.

Frank Adam
August 1st, 2013
7:08 PM
Palestine and Israel are "displacement activity" in the psychology of those concerned to have an acceptable excuse for not dealing with real problems: peak oil, Moslem extremism.... Further kicking Israel gives many the schadenfreude of hatred's satisfied superiority, the cosy schadenfreude of tribalism, and the schadenfreude of moral prurience.

Gary Katz
August 1st, 2013
5:08 PM
Good points, Eitan! I would add that, if everything was the same, with the exception that a different group of Muslims (instead of Jews) controlled the land, the entire dispute would get about one-millionth the attention, from both Muslims and the world at large. But the fact that Jews control a sliver of land on "sacred Muslim land" is like a grain of sand stuck in the Islamic eye. The Muslims don't need to get rid of the grain of sand; they need to replace the eye with one less prideful and more inclusive.

Doron
August 1st, 2013
1:08 PM
The core issue in the conflict remains Arab refusal to accept a permanent Israel behind any boundaries. It would not make a difference if Israel was just Tel Aviv, nor if its Prime Minister was the Dalai Lama. Arabs will never accept Jews as equals, only as second class "dhimmis", the staus they endured for the last 1400 years.

Eitan
July 30th, 2013
12:07 AM
the first mistake before any other, which you also fell for, is actually refarring to arabs as "Palestinian" while the real Palestinians are the Jews. Here's a question for you: at June 1967 Israel won the six day war and took over the Golan hights from Syria, Judea and Samaria from Jordan and Gaza from Egyptm with the local citizens in each place. do you really believe that somehow, over night, these unrelated groups became a nation? * in all three arab countries mantioned above, muslim-arabs can't even live peacefully with each other since they are assembled from groups of different muslim-arabs. in that part of the world that means they will see each other as enemies. we are witnessing that hatred in large scales right now. so am I suppose to believe different groups of muslim-arrabs from different countries can make a nation? if your answer is "yes", perheps you can explain the six months of armed conflict between "Hamas" and Fatah in 2006-2007, and why Hamas supporters live in Gaza - where Hamas rules, and Fatah supporters live in Judea and Samaria - where Fatah Rules. shouldn't it be A nation?... is it possible that the reason the arabs stole the Jews' name ("Palestinians") is to take over Israel land in diplomatic ways after arab nation realized they could not win a war against Israel? well, If you'll ask arab-muslim leaders and political figures - the answer is "yes". and many recording of many important figures in the muslim-arab world are on the internet.

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