U.S. key to achieving Mideast peace – Alon Pinkas – POLITICO.com

Washington needs to present a comprehensive, detailed and viable peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — if not a plan, then a bold vision with concrete principles and parameters. And yes, the sides are encouraged to make changes. But there should be a timetable.

President Barack Obama, who lucidly defined the resolution of the conflict as a vital U.S. national security interest, should not be too cautious or overly sensitive to the intricacies of Israeli and Palestinian politics.

The painful, and embarrassing, conclusion is that, left to their own devices, Israelis and Palestinians are incapable of reaching an agreement.

Israel and the Palestinians have inexorably developed a paralyzing sense of “zero-sum justice.”

Any admission that the other side may have a valid point is viewed as a disastrous self-inflicted diminishing of one’s own narrative and cause.

As a Zionist, I do not accept the foundations of the Palestinians’ narrative — nor, from what I see, that they ever developed one that did not stem from negation of Zionism. But I do recognize that Palestinians genuinely believe in it and that, consequently, this is reality.

The fact is that both societies are disillusioned, resentful and distrusting. The terrible irony is that they both have good reasons to be.

The tragedy is that both know what needs to be done.

Obama should say so.

Alon Pinkas, the former Israeli consul general in New York, served as an adviser on U.S. affairs to four Israeli foreign ministers.

via U.S. key to achieving Mideast peace – Alon Pinkas – POLITICO.com.

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