This week, the latest series of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians grabbed headlines with the Obama Administration even elevating the significant of the talks to a whole new level by considering the release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard just to keep the two parties at the table. Unfortunately, this sign of desperation shows yet another US President failing to force peace between the two Peoples. Certainly, peace is important, but both Israel and the Palestinians must choose peace.
While the Palestinians’ suffering under the heavy-handed isolationist policies of Israel is an ongoing, compelling interest to make peace, Israel now has a far more compelling long-term interest in peace thanks to the Arab Spring and the changing political dynamics of the region. Quite frankly, peace in the Middle East does not revolve around Israel, but Israel’s survival, as well as its ability to thrive, over the next few decades depends upon its ability to make progress with its Islamist neighbors.
Although the US would like to think resolving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians will be a significant step in establishing peace for the Middle East, which it would certainly be a major accomplishment, stability in the Middle East hinges on the ability of all Middle Eastern governments to be more responsive to their Peoples’ needs. Meanwhile, the impact of the Middle East on the rest of the world revolves around globalized terrorist, i.e. instability, and oil, which the Russian-Ukrainian situation has elevated the political value of Middle Eastern oil reserves. Consequently, the Obama administration and the rest of the world must recognize peace between Israel and the Palestinians is important, yet no longer holds as much weight as it once did.
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