2 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Negotiation is valuable, even if you believe it won't bring peace

Reader comment on item: My Testimony before the House Subcommittee on Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations

Submitted by Erik Nelson (United States), Feb 25, 2007 at 17:23

After moving to Israel in the middle of 2002, feeling the fear that terror attacks are tailored to evoke, and closely observing efforts to promote the "Road Map," I can understand, if not support, the idea that negotiating with the Palestinians of Hamas or Fatah have no chance of producing anything a reasonable person would consider peace.

The first week I was in Israel, I accompanied my journalist wife to a suicide bombing in Rishon Letzion. On our way to cover a suicide bombing in Netanya in the summer of 2005, I remarked in the car, "I feel as though we went to sleep three years ago, woke up and nothing had changed."

Still, negotiations have their purpose, even if you believe (and I don't) that they are absolutely unable to bring peace.

Consider Ehud Barak's offer to Arafat in 2000. First, I don't think Israel would have accepted its terms either, but it served a key function in the debate that would persist through the years of nonstop violence that followed. By bending over backwards to offer much of what the Palestinians wanted, Barak put Arafat on a polygraph. Was he really carrying an olive branch in one hand? If so, he should have jumped on that offer. Instead, he rejected it and showed, for all who were willing to look, that his path would always be violence.

So, whether you belive that some sort of peace process is possible, or you believe that "crushing their will" is the only way to deal with the Palestinians, negotiation is an important tool to illuminate -- for members of Congress in particular -- the intentions of both sides.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Negotiation is valuable, even if you believe it won't bring peace by Erik Nelson

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2022 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)