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The Peace Process
by Allan Bormel
20 January 2004Israeli Flag

The  notion that the US can broker a peace agreement in the current climate requires a complete disconnect from reality.

Not all disagreements can be settled peacefully. If they could be, they would be. That’s why we have wars. It’s an unfortunate fact of life. The winner dictates terms to the loser and life goes on. It was true in the first century and it’s true in the twenty-first century. Except in the Middle East. Here, every time the Arabs attack Israel they lose, and then want to dictate terms. It doesn’t usually work that way, but the Arabs have been able to pull it off by rallying world opinion to their side. They have successfully sold the idea that they are the oppressed underdog.

The real underdog is Israel. It is surrounded by hostile Arab nations emboldened by the most poisonous worldwide anti-Semitism since World War II. The first war they lose will be their last. They will be wiped out. Eliminated. Cease to exist. Every last Israeli will be murdered. Fleeing will not be an option. Flee to where? No one wants them. Israel has no friends in the world community except the United States and that friendship is inherently unstable. It depends largely on who happens to be President at the moment. Fortunately for Israel, George Bush is a strong supporter, but even that support is tempered by the US’s need to cultivate and maintain Arab alliances. Much of that need is based on our reliance on oil, which many Arab nations have in abundance. There is no denying that the industrialized world runs on oil.

As long as environmental extremists block offshore oil drilling, block drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and block all new nuclear power plants, our dependence on foreign oil is assured. We cannot conserve our way to petroleum independence, and we cannot will alternative energy sources into existence. When alternative sources are economically feasible they will enter the marketplace.

September 11th exponentially complicated US foreign policy and Israel’s precarious existence. We no longer need friendly relations with Arab and non-Arab Muslim countries merely to sell Coke and Starbuck’s coffee. We need their co-operation to win the war on terror. We cannot track down terrorists, or prevent future attacks, without the assistance of countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan, Egypt, Jordan and others. None of these nations are great friends of Israel. Much is made by peace optimists of the Egyptian – Israeli peace treaty, but this is a tenuous pact at best. Pick up an Egyptian newspaper. Anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic rhetoric is as high in Egypt as any other Muslim country.

So where does this leave the State of Israel? At its most vulnerable anytime in its existence. Israel has nothing to trade for peace other than land – every inch of which was paid for by its citizens' blood – and is necessary for its security. The Palestinians have nothing to trade except the cessation of homicide attacks – a course so far they have been unwilling to take.

This brings us to this past Sunday, a day in which Reem Raiyshi, a 21-year-old Palestinian mother of two, blew herself up along with four Israelis at the Erez Crossing, a checkpoint 4,000 Palestinians a day cross to go to work in Israel. Six others were injured. She was the seventh female homicide bomber in three years, but the first to carry out an attack for Hamas. This is clearly a signal by Hamas that they are not running out of homicide volunteers.

This latest homicide bomber said prior to her lethal mission, “It was always my wish to turn my body into deadly shrapnel against the Zionists and to knock on the doors of heaven with the skulls of Zionists.” At her funeral she was eulogized: “It is not enough to call her a hero. Calling her hero does not give the whole truth. This woman abandoned her husband and children to win paradise.” Hardly words to inspire optimism in the new millennium.

Hamas has repeatedly stated that they will not abide by any peace accords. They have repeatedly stated that their goal is the destruction of the State of Israel. They have repeatedly stated that homicide attacks will not cease. Regarding this attack, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar said, “She is not going to be the last, because the march of resistance will continue until the Islamic flag is raised, not only over the minarets of Jerusalem, but over the whole universe.” Why don’t we take him at his word?

Soon, we will hear it’s time to restart the “peace process,” a phrase that is an affront to the English language. The notion that the US can broker a peace agreement in this climate requires a complete disconnect from reality.

Allan Bormel is a retired businessman and a freelance writer. He has been published by The Washington Dispatch, MichNews.com, TheRealityCheck.org, and Enter Stage Right.

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