Peace is not a process. Peace exists when one of two conditions is met: 1) two groups of people have no wish to kill one another (e.g., the U.S. and Canada), or 2) one or both of the groups would like to kill the other, but is deterred or otherwise prevented from doing so (e.g., the Cold War). In neither case is a “process” typically involved. Negotiation, unlike peace, is indeed a process. But negotiations, even when they lead to a treaty or agreement, cannot bring peace unless one of the above conditions is also met. (See Munich, Oslo, countless others).
People have been talking about a “peace process” in the Middle East for a long time, but those discussions have little or nothing to do with the actual existence of peace, which has depended on other factors. See number 2 above.
Most recently, Palestinian Authority spokesmen have accused the United States of undermining the “peace process” by backing off on demands that Israel stop all settlement construction:
Pointing an accusing finger at the United States, the Palestinians on Sunday said Washington’s backing for Israeli refusal to halt Jewish settlement expansion had killed any hope of reviving peace negotiations soon. …
On a one-day Middle East visit on Saturday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton endorsed Israel’s view that settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank should not be a bar to resuming negotiations — contradicting the Palestinian position. …
Stung by Obama’s about-face and Clinton’s remarks, the Palestinians voiced their frustration.
“The negotiations are in a state of paralysis, and the result of Israel’s intransigence and America’s back-pedaling is that there is no hope of negotiations on the horizon,” Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah said.
Negotiations are not an end in themselves, however. We hear a lot about obstacles to the “peace process,” much less about the actual obstacles to peace. The latter were on display on Friday, as tens of thousands of Islamic Jihad supporters rallied in Gaza:
Tens of thousands of Islamic Jihad loyalists held a rally in Gaza on Friday to commemorate the group’s slain founder.
Holding plastic models of rockets and wearing masks and mock suicide bomber’s vests, the members chanted “death to Israel” and “Muhammad’s army will be back to wipe off the Hebrew state.”
An Islamic Jihad leader, Nafez Azzam, called on the crowd Friday to reject negotiations with Israel and support violent resistance. …
Islamic Jihad, a terrorist organization smaller than Hamas, has carried out dozens of suicide bombings and other attacks against Israeli civilians.
Here, an armed Islamic Jihad guard looks over the rally:
This one shows a guy with a fake rocket surrounded by a group wearing burial clothes. I take it that the latter is the usual celebration of death via mass murder-bombing. What a delightful culture:
Palestinian child abuse has been a common theme over the years. Often the Palestinians fit up pre-teen children with fake suicide belts–occasionally, if they are mentally defective, with real ones–pretend rockets, etc. Here, a Palestinian child holding a fake weapon steps on Israeli flags and an image of Israel’s Prime Minister:
How do you make peace with a sickness? That’s the question that Israel has struggled with for decades. I’m pretty sure the answer lies in 1) and 2) above, and not in a “process.”