It’s often said that the Arabs, particularly the Palestinians, never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. This personality disorder seems to be infectious– for now the Israelis seem to be succumbing to the same syndrome. On the heels of the Egyptian-brokered Hamas-Fatah deal to end their divisions and present a united Palestinian front in future negotiations with Israel, the Israeli government threw down a dictat–declaring that it refuses to negotiate with terrorists and since Hamas is a terrorist outfit, the so-called road map would be put into a deep freeze for the foreseeable future.
So instead of seizing the opportunity to talk with a new united Palestinian front (the Israelis used to complain that it was hard to hammer out a final agreement with just the West Bank Palestinians as opposed to all the Palestinians), they have once again seized on yet another excuse to put off any negotiations aimed at ending occupation of the West Bank and some deal on Jerusalem.
With the world’s attention focused on the dramatic demise of Bin Laden, the upheavals in Syria and Yemen, the civil war in Libya, the Palestinian-Israeli question has been virtually ignored by the media. But what’s for sure is that the Arab ‘spring’ will eventually put unremitting pressure on Israel to face reality. In a sea of democratic yearnings, how can Israel face the world as a stubborn occupier of Palestinian lands? After some fifty years of denying any democratic rights to the occupied territories and brushing a People’s sovereignty aside with the old tools of delay and prevarication, Israel should act before the world and an Obama administraion declare a hitherto much used Israeli admonition–enough is enough.