American “peace process” architects have finally admitted that the “peace process” has failed but insist that the problem simply is that the foundations of it have to be replaced.
New realities in the Middle East, including the changes wrought by the Arab Spring and the rise of the militant Palestinian group Hamas, meant the old ways of doing business had to be shelved, they told a Washington symposium.
"Maybe it's already too late, I don't think we will ever know unless we give it a serious try," according to William Quandt, who as a member of the National Security Council was deeply involved in reaching the historic 1978 Camp David accords, AFP reported.
The news agency added, “There has been a perceived lack of appetite for a renewed US engagement in the region” since the Palestinian Authority went back on its word to conduct negotiations with Israel after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu imposed a 10-month building freeze on building homes for Jews in Judea and Samaria.
The three traditional pillars for peacemaking -- strong Israeli-Palestinian entities, Arab nations ready to help the US and pressure the Palestinians, and a credible United States -- "have all eroded," according to Robert Malley from the International Crisis Group.
"Just as you can't wage yesterday's war, you can't wage yesterday's peace... We have to rethink the solution that we all thought we knew," he said at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to mark the launch of a new book "Pathways to Peace."
Malley previously has called for negotiating with the Hamas terrorist organization, declared illegal by the United States. He frequently has been described by American Jewish critics as “anti-Israel.” U.S. government officials have defended Malley.
Malley's book quotes experts and Arab leaders who agreed that President Barack Obama faces a task that is between "difficult and the impossible" if he wants to try to succeed where he and his predecessors since 1992 have failed.
However, the assumptions of the “experts” are not necessarily factual. Quandt claimed that unlike years ago when the United States had to face the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), “Now everybody looks at Fatah and the PLO as model citizens... We had to start talking to them when they were anything but model citizens."
Malley agreed, "It really doesn't make sense for us to put our heads in the sand and pretend that Fatah is what it once was.”
The terrorist infrastructure in the Palestinian Authority, which promotes suicide attacks and teaches that the entire State of Israel is “occupied” Palestine, serve as evidence that Quandt, Malley and other experts have buried their heads in the sand.
Former senior State Dept. policy adviser Aaron David Miller, who has increasingly cast doubts on the truth of Palestinian Authority's stated intentions, said he does not see any agreement on the horizon, but he, also, is not ready to throw in the towel.
"In my view the pursuit of a two-state solution right now is too complicated to succeed, but too important, resonant and relevant still to fail,” he said.
Obama simply may ignore the Palestinian Authority and concentrate on domestic issues.
Danny E. Sebright, president of the US-UAE Business Council, recently said in an interview with Arabian Business, “My personal view is Obama will be focused at home and his legacy will be to get the American economy turned around. I think he will follow foreign policy in terms of job creation… but I don’t think he is going to give any great political capital into the Israeli-Palestinian peace process or anything like that.”