Ahistorical Approach to Addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Like almost every President since John Kennedy, Barack Obama is trying his hand at cutting the Gordian Knot and drinking the sea dry. That is he is trying his hand at making peace between Israel and Palestine.
Will he succeed where all others have failed? Not likely, since his approach is ahistorical and, at least publically, ignores the context from which all this strife has emerged. The present and the future are built on the past. With all due respect, only the very near sighted can suppose that they can defy historical gravity and float above it all, sublimely free of all roots.
President Obama tells us: “Make no mistake: the courage of a man like President Abbas–who stands up for his people in front of the world–is far greater than those who fire rockets at innocent women and children.”
Historical Context: “President” Abbas is a heartily disliked fellow who helped usurp power from the legally elected government of Palestine. Given such an historical record Abbas cannot “stand for his people in front of the world” except in the propaganda picture painted by his American ally.
And only someone devoid of historical knowledge and context concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can possibly believe that it is the Palestinians who presently, as a strategy, go out of their way to target “innocent women and children.”
Obama: “If an agreement is not reached, Palestinians will never know the pride and dignity that come with their own state [and] Israelis will never know the certainty and security that come with sovereign and stable neighbors who are committed to coexistence.”
Historical Context: The Palestinians have been struggling for a state of their own for at least 75 years. They have been betrayed by outsiders so often that it defies reasons to believe that any American President truly cares about their pride and dignity. The Palestinians have been able to find “pride and dignity” in one thing only–resistance.
[Excerpt of an article by Lawrence Davidson, Professor of Middle East History at West Chester University, Pennsylvania]