After flying in from Tel Aviv to Newark, I discovered an unexpected winter snow storm had blown in. The cold winds left me stranded in the airport with no way out (not exactly what I had hoped for) and it felt like walking into a parable of what is happening across the world today. When I left America, the Ukrainian people were objecting to a relationship with Russia; now they are on the verge of a war with Putin! Karzai is leaving office in Afghanistan accusing America of no interest in the future of his country when a painful number of Americans died fighting Al-Qada and supporting a free Afghan where the USA spent billions. Are those blizzards out of nowhere or what?
My time in Israel with people who affect the future as well as common folks proved clarifying and helpful. The dynamics of changes have certainly not slowed. I was impressed again with the importance of trying to stay in touch with the essence of critical events. Unfortunately, the media shims across the top of stories and seldom touches the center of historic situations. As a former Israeli official related concerning the Obama administration, the Arabs attacked within hours of the birth of Israel and then again in the Six-Day war and once more in the Yom Kippor War. He said, “You think we don’t know what makes them tick? The trouble with Obama is that he doesn’t know that he doesn’t know.” Another way to express this man’s opinion is that in the view of many Israelis the American administration is missing the essence of the problem.
Currently, the American administration keeps leaning on Netanyahu to settle the Palestinian issue. Media reporting suggests that the Israeli Prime Minister is being obstinate and not committed to negotiations. What I universally found across Israel was a recognition that the Palestinian’s basic position is that Israel must be wiped out. It’s hard to bargain with people’s whose objective is to kill you. Anyone not see the problem?
The essence of the struggle is achieving an agreement with the Palestinians who must recognize the right of Israel to exist and guarantee their security. Netanyahu is not going to back off of that problem. Would you?
In a later blog, I’ll detail the mounting possibility of an economic boycott from Europe to put additional pressure on Israel. However, when outside countries take sides and attempt to create leverage, they are throwing the dice in a game that they may not actually understand. I would maintain that one must live in both the Palestinian and Israeli worlds to understand what is actually going on behind the scenes. The Jews and the Arabs constitute two highly divergent perspectives. To have insight into where the future is going, one must grasp how these realms function. More to come.