The Compass

« Is Obama Out of Step with America on Israel? | Blog Home Page | That Gates Memo »

A "Post Peace Process" Middle East

mitchell.jpg

Aaron David Miller's must-read essay on why he's abandoned one of Washington's most cherished orthodoxies - the peace process - has set off a debate about the future of America's most favorite past time.

The fact that the U.S. has labored so long at something without succeeding is either a testament to its valiant persistence or foolish obduracy (or both). Either way, the current attempts to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks seems hopeless, which leads to an obvious question: what does a "post peace process" American diplomacy looks like? For Israel, at least in the short term, it looks quite good. They continue to receive American support without enduring American demands. For the Palestinians, the short term looks bad. Whatever hopes they had of prying further concessions from Israel will vanish.

Over the medium-to-long term the prospects for both parties will shift. Israel will face the demographic challenge of a blossoming Palestinian population living under its control. Demands for a "one state solution" will grow and the democratic and Jewish character of the state of Israel will be under strain. So too will the prospects for a negotiated settlement.

Consider the views of the Palestinians in 2010:

Residents of the West Bank and Gaza Strip are opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with some land exchange as part of a final solution to the current impasse with Israel, according to a poll by An-Najah National University. 66.7 per cent of respondents reject this notion.

In addition, 77.4 per cent of respondents reject making Jerusalem the capital for both an eventual Palestinian state and Israel.

It strains credulity to believe that this outlook is going to be reversed as the demographic balance between Israelis and Palestinians shifts.

(AP Photo)