Secretary of State John Kerry has brokered a deal where Israelis and Palestinians will sit and discuss a future of peace in the Middle East. As in the past, the effort will end up in no peace at all because all the talk will miss the real issue.
The real issue for Palestinians is not “recognition” – recognizing Israel and being recognized in return as an independent state – or “territory” – having jurisdiction and sovereign power over their land and allowing the same for the Israelis – but the way of life for the Palestinian people.
The real issue in the Middle East is the hope of the Palestinian people to live a life as productive and respectable as any other people in the world. The Palestinian people are as hard-working and talented as any other. Palestinians don’t want to blow themselves up for a cause, they want to be partners with the rest of the world in the provision of goods and services and in ministering to the needs of their fellow men.
The only employers in the Gaza and West Bank territories are the two Palestinian “governments” – Hamas and Fatah. The unemployment rates are 26% in Gaza and 25% in the West Bank; in Israel it is a mere 5.6%. A Palestinian would risk his or her life just to be able to live in any other place in the world.
For Secretary Kerry to succeed in his mission, he must see to it that Palestine becomes a nation of factory workers and farmers, lawyers and doctors, athletes and entertainers, and a nation of peace-loving people.