In this op-ed, Fareed Zakaria lambasts Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his myopic indifference toward peace.
“Netanyahu’s references to the “indefensible” borders of 1967 reveal him to be mired in a world that has gone away. The chief threat to Israel today is not from a Palestinian army. Israel has the region’s strongest economy and military, complete with an arsenal of nuclear weapons. The chief threats to Israel are from new technologies — rockets, biological weapons — and demography. Its physical existence is less in doubt than its democratic existence as it continues to rule millions of Palestinians in serf-like conditions — entitled to neither a vote nor a country.
The path to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been clear for 20 years. Israel would cede most of the land it conquered in the 1967 war to a Palestinian state, keeping the major settlement blocks. In return, it would get a series of measures designed to protect its security. That’s why the process is called land for peace. The problem is that Netanyahu has never believed in land for peace. His strategy has been to put up obstacles, create confusion and wait it out. But one day there will be peace, along the lines that people have talked about for 20 years. And Netanyahu will be remembered only as a person before the person who made peace, a comma in history.”
If Netanyahu really wants peace, he is going to have to make some tough choices that may be unpopular amongst his base. But that is exactly what Begin did–what, you think the settlers in the Sinai were pleased that he gave the conquered territory back to Egypt? I feel like Netanyahu is being asked to solve a problem that he doesn’t have a stake in…it’s as if he doesn’t have time to come up with a plausible solution. Israel deserves a leader who actually gives a damn about whether the country is going to be around (or democratic) in 30 years. Such a leader would take the time to think long and hard about how the status quo only undermines Israel’s security, and might put a little effort into finding a just, and sustainable peace to the conflict.