HILLARY CLINTON; HARD CHOICES: BOOK ANALYSIS. CHAPTER 14: THE MIDDLE EAST: THE ROCKY ROAD TO PEACE. (IRAN THE ROAD BLOCK TO PEACE.)

HILLARY CLINTON; HARD CHOICES: BOOK ANALYSIS. CHAPTER 14: THE MIDDLE EAST: THE ROCKY ROAD TO PEACE. (IRAN THE ROAD BLOCK TO PEACE.)

netanyahu and abbas

NETANYAHU AND ABBAS : AT LOGGERHEADS

Peace in the Mid-East remains an elusive goal in the area once known as Palestine and ruled by Turkey until  WWI.  Palestine was never a nation and was a part of the Turkish Empire along with the country now known as Jordan. After WWI the area was governed by Britain and the Jews were promised a homeland in the area which occurred in 1948.

After the six days war in 1967 The Palestinians gathered in the area known as the West Bank and in Gaza.  Israel is recognized as an independent nation. The Palestinians have never established a nation mostly due to Israeli opposition.

Peace in the area hinges on the fact that Israel has been eroding the areas of the West Bank occupied by the Palestinians with new settlements within the borders established at the end of the 1967 war.

Both Israelis and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital either now or in the future. East Jerusalem was heavily populated by Palestinians. However the Israelis have been building new settlements there. Also the Israelis have unilaterally redrawn the boundaries of Jerusalem to exclude Palestinians so Palestinians only constitute  28% of the population now. The city has deep religious significance not only to Jews and Muslims but also Christians.

Israel is presently represented by Bibi Netanyahu as Prime Minister, a conservative, whose  coalition government contains an ultra nationalist faction that  wants all of the Left Bank and Gaza as part of Israel.

The Palestinian Authority is led by Mahmoud Abbas  as president . He favors a peaceful resolution to the divisions that separate Israel and Palestine.  However he really doesn’t speak for the Palestinians in Gaza, Hamas does, a group committed to the destruction of Israel. Hillary doesn’t speak about   the people in Gaza as part of the peace process since they are committed to the destruction of Israel by violence.

A two state solution has been proposed whereby the West Bank and Gaza would constitute a new nation based on the 1967 borders.  Abba’s wants all the Jewish settlements in the West Bank abandoned and particularly in Jerusalem which would be the capital of a Palestinian nation.

Hamas is not a party to the negotiations and probably will be discussed in a later chapter.

Hillary as Secretary of State has proposed land swaps to compensate the Palestinians for the land occupied by the new settlements.

Other issues which are not paramount like the right of return for Palestinians to land they once occupied inside Israel. This will probably never happen.

Abbas and Netanyahu in order to reach an agreement on a two state solution within the 1967 borders will have great difficulty getting their constituents to agree to these terms and if they do so without the consent of the diehard factions they  will lose politically. Also Israel wants a peaceful solution and there is no guarantee   this solution would provide peace.

Sovereignty for Palestine would lessen Israel’s control over the borders and armaments could be sent in by outside antagonists like Iran which supports Hamas and Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon.

Iran is committed to the destruction of Israel.

Thus the last peace talks during Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State failed and the stalemate continues.

Meanwhile  arch enemy Iran is  creeping towards a nuclear weapon.  Netanyahu believes this calls for a defensive strike by Israel. Also this means an arms race between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran. Another religious based division in that part of the World.

(However the problems between Israel and the Palestinians seem to begin and end in Iran. When the Iranian problem is solved peace between the Israelis and Palestinians is likely to follow.)

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