The first lesson President Bush should have learned from his experience in Iraq is that Palestinian society cannot be reformed by outsiders and hatred rooted in centuries of tradition cannot be changed by signing any agreements which are made under pressure. One cannot bribe the Palestinians into making peace by giving them more money. Sending more money to a dysfunctional Palestinian economy is an exercise in futility. Relying on Mahmoud Abbas to change things is just a mirage and the Hamas takeover of Gaza is added proof of his weakness. Changing a society based on the use of force, violence, terrorism, and hatred, is like training a cat not to chase mice or training a lion not to kill by feeding it steak. It will never work. Mahmoud Abbas’s record as a leader is dismal and the chaos within the PA only increased since he took over.
The only thing these many peace conferences are good for is to fill the media with reports, editorials, and op ads, which help sell more papers and get politicians additional votes. It provides talk shows with something to talk about, and it makes for some interesting nonsensical mikva talk. Real peace still remains a mirage despite Arafat’s Nobel Peace Prize and Rabin’s handshake on the White House lawn. Since then, the lawn has been mowed many times and the grass has grown back but the peace deal remains deeply buried in the ground. No matter how much water one pours on it, one can’t revive the dead! That will have to wait for techias hamaysim.