Interestingly, the Israeli press has engaged this effort seriously. Meanwhile, the main discursive threads in the international press are superhype (George Bush/America to the rescue!) and dismissal (expectations low).
This is how Bush got himself elected, if you recall.
From openDemocracy, “on the eve of” the meeting comes an offering from Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan outlining the key features of a potential Israeli-Palestinian and regional peace agreement.
Prince Hassan describes the need for “genuine reconciliation. This has to start with an acknowledgment of the genuine claims of the Palestinians and the acceptance of responsibility for what happened to them.” In the everyday talk of average Palestinians, this is what they called “really peace.”
The time has come to shed prejudice and build intra-societal dynamics and respect for the other irrespective of national origin, religion, and creed.
Of course this ethic applies to Palestinians as well.
The consensus is – basically – that all mechanisms and principles are already agreed and accepted. In fact, these were forged out under Anwar Sadat, Menachim Begin and Jimmy Carter at Camp David (1978) and hammered out by Arafat, Rabin, Shimon Peres, and Bill Clinton (1993). Bush needs only to inspire the finalization of what his predecessors labored to put in place.
As a relative newcomer to the finer nuances of this struggle – embarrassed to admit how little I’ve previously known of the Palestinian side, product of the American educational and news systems that I am – it seems to me that the timing is right because of Israeli fears that if they do not act now, Palestianians will drop the demand for a separate state and insist more and more loudly on a one-state solution. Everyone I spoke with already prefers this solution because Israeli’s aggressive development of settlements on Palestinian land – inside the West Bank, that is beyond the international boundary of Israel – has furthered the integration of the two peoples more than it has furthered the cause of separate, independent nations.
I’m not holding my breathe – the institutionalized torrents of violence (all forms, from symbolic to literal) and historical realpolitik maneuvering may yet be too much for mere pathetic human beings to overcome.
And then again . . . when will the ideology of non-violent resolution of human conflict and competition assert itself as a higher ideal? And who else better to model and set a new bar for the rest of us? When will there ever be better time than now?