Gershon Baskin

Addressing the core

16.03.2016

Gershon Baskin. Photo: Otmar Steinbicker

The willingness to fight, die and to kill in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict has been clearly demonstrated (by both sides) for more than 100 years.

Putting an end to the current Palestinian uprising is not rocket science. It must obviously include putting an end to incitement as well as creating and fostering a culture of peace by Palestinians – officials and the public (it must also be done in Israel).

The way to do it is not through the use of more force, home demotions and expulsions.

This has all been tried in the past, with no success. Those tactics will only lead to escalation and increased participation by those who presently are not taking up knives to try to kill Israelis.

Those tactics do not create deterrence. Those who are trying to kill Israelis and get killed in the process are not afraid to die. When there is no hope for Palestinians for a better life, they are not deterred by fear of what will happen to themselves or to their families.

Yes, they are encouraged by what they see on Facebook and all around them. Yes, they are called heroes and martyrs and this does influence them. But the response by Palestinian society to their “martyrdom” will not change until the root causes of that support are changed.

The willingness to fight, die and to kill in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict has been clearly demonstrated (by both sides) for more than 100 years. There is a direct connection between loss of hope, economic despair, the belief and understanding that the occupation will continue undisturbed and the support of Palestinians for violence against Israel.

Like in the past, the violence will only end when Palestinians understand that there is a genuine chance of liberation, ending the occupation, and peace. The use of violence by Palestinians against Israelis will only end when Palestinians themselves decide to withdraw the legitimacy of violence as a means of achieving their national goals.

This may go against what most Israelis believe, namely that it is the deep, ingrained hatred of Jews that feeds Palestinian violence, but this is not how Palestinians see their own situation. It is important, in fact essential, that we see and understand how the Palestinians themselves view the use of violence against Israel if we want to understand how to end it.

And while it is true that today there is deeply rooted hatred against Jews and Israel, it does not come only from incitement, it comes mainly from nearly 100-plus years of conflict and more so from almost 50 years of Israeli occupation.

For many years the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was existential and Palestinians refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist on any part of historic Palestine. That has not been the case over the past two decades. For many years Israelis also refused to recognize the existence of the Palestinian people and their rights to a state of their own.

This too has not been the case in the past two decades. Most Israelis and most Palestinians came to terms with the existence of the other and supported the two-state solution. The majority of Israelis and Palestinians, including a large part of their respective leaderships have accepted that the two-state solution is the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Most Palestinians were quite prepared to live in peace next to Israel, with freedom, dignity and independence.

Most Palestinians, including most Palestinian leaders (not including Hamas) still want to live normal lives where they can focus on what normal people all want – a decent life for themselves and their families. This is also what most Israelis want.

The failure of the peace process has not changed the logic and imperative of the two-state solution, it has only changed the belief on both sides that it is possible at this time. In the absence of hope that peace can be possible, radicalization has occurred on both sides of the conflict and the willingness and support for violence has gained legitimacy.

The Palestinian leadership, starting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have demonstrated their understanding that organized armed resistance as experienced in the second intifada is counter-productive and self-destructive. They have kept the security coordination in place and have, according to Israeli security officials, continued to prevent attacks against Israel.

Several days ago, Abbas, interviewed in Arabic on Kuwaiti television, once again spoke against an armed intifada and promised that he would continue to do everything in his power to ensure that such use of force would not occur. He did not, however condemn the individual acts of terrorism taking place today and he knows that there is little that he can do to stop them.

He knows that without being able to offer his people any real chance of ending the Israeli occupation, his people believe that they have the right to resist occupation and Abbas recognizes that they believe it is legitimate for Israelis to feel the pain and anger that they feel. This cycle of pain on both sides can continue for a long time.

Israel will not be successful in stopping it by threatening more force or by using more force. Extracting more pain from Palestinians will only lead to the desire of Palestinians to extract more pain from Israelis.

Both sides need to get back to the table. The regional chaos and threats create more opportunities to expand the possibilities for reaching more stable outcomes from negotiations with more direct stakeholders at the table than previously. The solutions will not be through building more walls, but through figuring out how to build more cooperation.

Both sides will eventually get it, but until then, sadly, they will most likely continue to extract more pain. There are signs that some people are beginning to get it. Not surprisingly, those people are in the security apparatuses of both sides. They are the ones on the front lines and they, it seems, are the ones who most quickly understand the limitations of force.

This is what happened when the first intifada came to an end, which led to the peace process, and this is what will happen once again.

Gershon Baskin ist Autor des Aachener Friedensmagazins www.aixpaix.de. Seine Beiträge finden Sie hier


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Beiträge von Gershon Baskin
2016

De-risking peace - Part I

The Left is right

The French connection

The United Nations and Israel’s legitimacy

A moment of opportunity

The darkness of our times

Addressing the core

The worst negotiations, the best negotiations

Palestinian turmoil and Israeli interests

This one is for you - the Palestinians

Palestinian suffering makes no sense for Israel

Creating a compelling vision for peace

It is also in our hands

Sooner or later

There is no partner

There is no partner

2015

Yes, it is difficult to make peace

What does he really want?

To those who oppose Israeli-Palestinian peace

Israel – my sad home

Have I got news for you

It is still not too late for peace

Netanyahu, tell us what you really think!

The partnership challenge

The binational reality that we are experiencing

Abbas is still the leader who can make peace

A new intifada?

After Abbas

The distance between here and peace and security

Doing the wrong thing at that wrong time

The one and only solution!

Yeshayahu Leibowitz was right!

The disengagement – 10 years on: What we choose to forget

Needed - a new approach to Gaza

A bad agreement is better than no agreement

Obviously no peace now, so what then?

Ramadan Kareem!

Israel’s strategic choices regarding Gaza

Anti-normalization hypocrites

FIFA, soccer and the Palestinians

Both sides now

It’s time for Palestine

The citizens’ challenge – from despair to hope

We have the chance to do the right thing in Yarmouks

The world is not against us

This is what you voted for, and this is what you will get

The no decision elections

A cautious peace, but peace nevertheless

For the sake of Israel, Netanyahu must be sent home

Going ballistic even prior to an agreement

To the new IDF chief of staff, Gadi Eisenkot

The Peace Bridge

The choices we must make

Israeli elections – It’s not about the economy

Threats and security

2014

Returning to negotiations

Our most important elections

The missed opportunities

We want peace, but they don't

Our future is in our hands

Defining who we are

Unlike religious wars, political wars have solutions

Today and tomorrow

If we had a real leader

Jerusalem of peace, Jerusalem of war

No tango going on at all

The Gaza challenge

Is Hamas prepared to end this war with a long-term ceasefire?

The end of the ceasefire, the renewal of war and the end game

The aftermath

Some thoughts this morning

Regional forum for security and stability – Gaza first

After a long phone conversation with a Hamas leader in Gaza

Don’t destroy Gaza, build it!

Framework document for the establishment of permanent peace (part 3 of 3)

Framework document for the establishment of permanent peace (part 2 of 3)

Framework document for the establishment of permanent peace

Palestinian refugees in Syria

Annexing the West Bank – a catastrophic plan for the Jewish people

Mutual and reciprocal recognition

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A very personal statement on peace

2013

Contextual reciprocity

Negotiating atmospherics

My Conversation With Hamas

Ramadan Kareem

Wahrheit, Lügen und Rechtmäßigkeit

Kauft palästinensisch!

Rat für den Präsidenten

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Diesen Weg müssen wir einschlagen!

Die Kluft im Umgang mit den israelischen Arabern schließen

2012

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Strategische Fehler und Herausforderungen

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Das Ende des Raketenbeschusses aus Gaza

Die Aufgabe eines Staatsmannes

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