Israel flag. Picture: THINKSTOCK
Israel flag. Picture: THINKSTOCK

The debate, if you can call it that, over the Israeli-Arab dispute is stale and has been for decades. A recent headline (UN secretary-general condemns Israeli settlements) and the rubbish spouted by Firaz Osman — "the Zionist entity was created on stolen Palestinian land, yakety-yak" — are reminiscent of Groundhog Day and don’t address the practical issue.

"Power abhors a vacuum" has never been more true.

The vacuum is being filled by a confident, restless Israel, impatient with its nonexistent negotiating partner. It is a vacuum created by an ineffective Palestinian leadership, which has spent 60 years moaning that what is shouldn’t be, that the Jews are devils who shouldn’t be there and that the whole of the land, including Israel, belongs to them, without ever presenting a bona fide negotiating position.

Unless one calls reasonable a proposition demanding that millions of Arabs return to swamp the Israeli electorate and that Israel’s borders again become indefensible as a first step to the wet-dream destruction of Israel.

Pressure should not be on Israel but on Palestinian leaders to drop their obstructionist role, if for no other reason than that it fails them, and to unambiguously declare that they acknowledge the Jewish state exists and has a right to exist and that they will enter into good-faith negotiations on the borders of
their putative state, which will then no longer threaten or harass Israel. This, of course, will never happen. The Palestinian leadership and Hamas enjoy the current situation too much: running unaccountable authoritarian regimes and pocketing aid funds from Europe, with Israel as a distraction from their misdemeanours.

Sydney Kaye
Cape Town

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