The Jordan Times (Editorial)
March 7, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel says that now is not the time to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians, presumably because of the turmoil that has hit several Arab countries.

The time to arrive at peace is always right, and Israel should not resort, once again, to procrastination or look for reasons not to agree to peace with the Palestinians where there are none.

From the very beginning, and passing through the time of the Oslo accords and through all the US-brokered attempts at rekindling interest in peace, Israel has been showing unwillingness to seriously take steps to arrive at a just deal with the Palestinians.

It refused to halt its illegal settlement construction on Palestinian lands, a condition the Palestinian leadership adamantly wished to see fulfilled, and has made no confidence-building gesture towards the people it keeps under occupation.

Concurrent with Israel’s latest delaying and frustrating tactics, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is floating once again the non-starter negotiation ploy, calling for an interim solution that would last for many years and allow the Palestinians to have an independent state with temporary borders.

What kind of a country with no borders Netanyahu is conceiving for the Palestinians is indeed mystifying.

Jordan has been saying all along that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is at the core of all Middle Eastern problems, and that unless and until it is resolved, the region will be denied stability and peace.

It was hoped that the recent awakening and popular revolts in several Arab countries would prompt Israel to accelerate the pace of peace talks with the Palestinians, rather than make it take its sweet time creating new facts on the ground that will make reaching peace impossible.

Israel is again misreading the dynamics in the area, and decided to keep its eyes shut not to face the new realities. This self-induced blindness will be at its expense, no doubt.

Accordingly, and contrary to Netanyahu’s shortsighted view, now is the right time to push forward with peace negotiations, instead of waiting to see what time brings on, for, whatever it is, it cannot be good for Israel.


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