Moshe Dayan, who coined the expression “Better Sharm el-Sheikh without peace than peace without Sharm el-Sheikh,” was one of the architects of the peace treaty with Egypt, in the context of which Israel withdrew from Sinai. Today, 40 years later, it turns out that peace without Sinai is preferable to Sinai without peace.
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But Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar doesn’t learn strategy from Moshe Dayan. It’s beneath him. He has a more expert teacher, named [Likud MK Miri] Regev, and that’s how he decides that only an Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley will guarantee strategic depth. And, as an extra gig, Sa’ar is also asking for Jewish settlement along with the military presence. You start with security and end with settlement. Tomorrow Sa’ar will ask for additional strategic depth in order to keep the pioneering settlers safe.
Meanwhile, the country is clothed in absurdity in honor of the visit of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, with the cherry on the top contributed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who said, “As a peace-loving nation, we must prepare for war.” The problem is that the minister is so enthusiastic about preparing for war that he has forgotten that the goal is actually peace. Ya’alon is like the policeman who chases a thief, and when he has almost caught the thief he overtakes him and declares himself the winner of the race.
But unfortunately, not everything is working properly. And the biggest mistake in the reception for Kerry was the portion of hatred, the third in number, which is served with every stage of the release of Palestinian prisoners. In George Orwell’s book “1984,” there is a daily Two Minutes Hate session. Here the hatred lasts for weeks and, quite embarrassingly, the leaders didn’t notice that even a well-oiled machine, if overused, begins to creak. This time the hatred was shockingly bland. Where are the glory days, when the faces of the victims looked out from every newspaper and every television screen. More and more fuel for the bonfire of hatred.
Meanwhile John Kerry, like an agile waiter, walks among the tables collecting the requests of the well-fed customers. One customer asks for a Jewish state - ala rasi (“no problem”). Another asks for a military presence on the Jordan River – ala rasi. And another asks to appropriate the Jordan valley – ala rasi. One customer requested that Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) report twice to the nearest police station. And there is an unconfirmed rumor that one of the customers requested that Abu Mazen bring majadra and baklava when he reports to the police. After all, the Arabs like to entertain, and why shouldn’t Jews enjoy their hospitality, too.
And this is how things look in anticipation of the newborn, who Kerry has promised will be born in another nine months: At the moment, the sonogram shows that we’re waiting only for the birth of a framework. The framework is ready, but the fetus can wait. Over two decades, and the seed of peace is not getting pregnant. On the other hand, there are optimists who believe that there really is a fetus, but it’s taking its time before entering the world, for fear of the wolves who are waiting with a club at the gate.
So for over two decades the region has been experiencing a series of false pregnancies: innumerable treaties, and enough position papers to fuel all the world’s conflicts. There is something wrong here. And if we put things in the right place we can reach one conclusion – that the problem is the intermediary himself. In the Middle East the intermediary is simply not fair.
A gynecologist who has been unsuccessful in producing a pregnancy for two decades would be replaced. Especially since the gynecologist, Kerry, is actually a collaborator of one of the partners, who is not interested in having children. What, is everyone blind here? After all, the United States provides unlimited backing to Israel, with military, diplomatic and economic assistance for continuing the occupation. This assistance is a recipe for perpetual barrenness. The time has come to tell the intermediary: Thanks, but vacate your place and let others mediate.
John Kerry is not the solution to the problem. He himself is the problem.