Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon on Sunday said the United States and the international community are going about making peace between Israel and the Arabs all wrong by focusing almost solely on the establishment of a Palestinian state.
In remarks to The Jerusalem Post on the eve of US envoy George Mitchell's arrival, Ayalon noted that the current US-brokered indirect peace talks seem to have the singular goal of bringing into being a new Arab state on ancient Jewish lands, which Washington and the world thinks will magically make the conflict disappear.
But the birth of a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip will not result in a "lasting peace," insisted Ayalon. At least not if it is not accompanied by true reconciliation.
"What is needed is reconciliation based on co-existence," Ayalon explained.
The original land-for-peace process ostensibly laid the groundwork for reconciliation and co-existence alongside security and land concessions. But the Palestinians have for nearly two decades ignored or outright refused to honor their commitments to end incitement against Israel and the Jews.
Because of its impatience over brining the peace process to a successful close, Washington has brushed aside these Palestinian violations, or worse, written them off as a justifiable response to alleged Israel provocations.
Ayalon's warning echoed the words of former US President John F. Kennedy when he told the UN General Assembly amid escalating tension with the Soviet Union:
"But peace does not rest in charters and covenants alone. It lies in the hearts and minds of all people. And if it is cast out there, then no act, no pact, no treaty, no organization can hope to preserve it without the support and the wholehearted commitment of all people. So let us not rest all our hopes on parchment and on paper; let us strive to build peace, a desire for peace, a willingness to work for peace, in the hearts and minds of all our people."