President Donald Trump has made a Middle East peace deal a high priority for his administration yet it seems that everything he has done in his first three years has only increased regional tensions and made the situation worse.
Is there a realistic opportunity for peace or is peace just wishful thinking?
What needs to be done before the sides can even agree to sit down and talk.
In the Jewish state of Israel today there are approximately seven million Jews, the vast majority of whom would gladly accept a peace deal if only their security was guaranteed.
On the other hand there are about 500,000 extremist settler movement people who passionately believe that God gave them all the land from Egypt to the Euphrates and that they are justified in using any and every means to drive out the local population. Many of these people have vowed never to give up one centimetre of land for peace and all of them are dedicated to occupying as much land as possible.
Today these folks hold the balance of power in Israel’s fractured Parliament and through much of Israel’s history they have been able to prevent a genuine dialogue for peace, and on occasions when there was some progress towards peace they have reacted violently even assassinating Prime Minister Rabin.
Over recent decades on the Palestinian side of the question millions of Palestinians have fled from their land abandoning their homes and farms and ending up in squalid refugee camps across the region. In their wretched condition these Palestinians have become a fertile recruiting source for extremist groups.
These Palestinians also believe that God gave them the land and having occupied that land for 2,000 years before feeling obliged to flee for their lives, these folks want their land back. Many Palestinian political parties and militias have taken full advantage of this longing and found these camps to be fertile recruiting grounds.
Today in Gaza, the Islamic Jihad and Hamas military wing dominate the strip and prevent any reconciliation with the Palestinian Authority while being adamantly opposed to any peace agreement with Israel.
In Lebanon and South Syria, Hezbollah dominates the area and is also adamantly opposed to any peace agreement with Israel.
In Israel the settler movement extremists are doing everything they can to prevent a serious honest dialogue for peace; and in Iran, the country, the economy and the military are controlled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps; which itself is adamantly opposed to any peace deal or any accommodation with Israel.
How then can there possibly be any peace agreement in the Middle East today?
Obviously there can be no peace as long as present conditions exist, indeed it would be impossible to even begin a serious honest negotiation for a peace agreement until there is a dramatic change in regional realities.
Wittingly or unwittingly Donald Trump has created an extremely volatile explosive situation in the Middle East today and another round of general region war could come at any time.
Sadly the only way that a genuine dialogue for peace can even begin is for there to be a massive regional conflict in order to change the regional realities and create a desire for real peace.
Make no mistake, tragically a horrific bloody costly vicious war is about to break out in the Middle East. Exactly when this happens remains to be seen, it could begin at any time.
When this conflict does break out it could take weeks or even months to work itself out and after that the region will have to stabilize and new governments will need to be formed: Only then can a genuine dialogue for peace begin.
There is no doubt that the United States and Israel will succeed in demolishing organized Islamic extremism, however the conflict will be very costly and very bloody, and that very costliness and bloodiness will motivate the populations and governments to finally seek a genuine peace agreement.
In order to begin any kind of genuine dialogue for peace with any possibility of success:
- It is imperative that the extremist organizations in Gaza like the Islamic Jihad and the Hamas military wing be resoundingly defeated, so that the Hamas political wing can reconcile with the Palestinian Authority and a new leadership representing all Palestinians can be established to negotiate peace.
- It is imperative that Hezbollah be overwhelmingly and unambiguously defeated and crushed to free Lebanon from their grip.
- It is essential that the situation in Syria be resolved and
- It is essential that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps be demolished in order to allow the legitimate Iranian government, military and people to assert themselves and make peace with the United States, with Israel and with the rest of the world, and finally
- It is absolutely imperative that an Israeli government be formed which is not being held hostage by the far-right Israeli settler movement extremists.
All governments in the region including the Israeli government, must be freed from the yoke of extremism; only then can a genuine dialogue for peace take place which has any possibility of success.
I say again that organized Islamic extremism will be defeated and a new government will arise in Israel which will be capable of negotiating a serious genuine peace agreement. A genuine peace agreement will be reached quite possibly this year if not, perhaps next year.
Once this agreement is reached and peace and safety is being proclaimed, people in the region and throughout the world will be ecstatic with joy. Everyone that is, except the tens of thousands of extremists in the Jewish settler movement.
They will be furious and they will take whatever steps they deem necessary to sabotage the peace deal.
Just because a peace agreement is achieved, just because the nations agree, just because a peace has been proclaimed; does not make its implementation easy; and it does not mean that real peace has actually been achieved.
There are people who will work hard and fight to prevent this peace from being implemented.
In a few days I will be starting a new series on the history from Sinai to Jesus. Believe it or not a good understanding of that history is important to understand the situation today, for example: Why do the Jews and the Palestinians both sincerely believe that God has given them the same land?