Nearly two decades of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have failed miserably. The key reason for this failure is the Palestinians’ refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
The basic paradigm of the Oslo accords, signed in 1993, held that both the Israelis and the Palestinians were, at long last, prepared to recognize the legitimacy of each other’s national rights and aspirations. With that essential threshold crossed, it was thought, all that would remain was to work out a compromise on core issues: where to draw borders, whether and how to divide Jerusalem, and how to resolve the Palestinian demand that refugees from the 1948 war be allowed to return to Israel.
That, at least, was the theory. Yet over the course of the last 18 years, during which negotiations were conducted along these lines, the rhetoric and actions of the Palestinian leadership have proved that paradigm wrong. The
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