The Old Peace is Dead, but a New Peace is Possible

By Ari Shavit, New York Times

HERE is the bad news: the Old Peace is dead.

It was first wounded in 1994 when, a year after the Oslo accords, Israel let Yasir Arafat, the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, return to the West Bank, and a result was a deadly bus bombing in central Tel Aviv.

The Old Peace was injured again in 2000, when, at a Camp David summit meeting, Israel agreed to establish a free Palestinian state in Gaza and in nearly 90 percent of the West Bank, and Mr. Arafat refused. The outcome? The second intifada, with its suicide bombings and the loss of more than 1,000 Israeli lives, left the people of Israel again traumatized.

The third blow came in 2005, when Israel pulled out of the Gaza Strip and the response was not the emergence of a prosperous, self-governing Palestinian territory, but the establishment of a Hamas-controlled rocket base that has periodically terrorized southern Israel.

The death knell for the Old Peace finally sounded in December 2010, with the start of the Arab awakening, which toppled secular dictators like Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muammar el-Qaddafi in Libya, while turning Bashar al-Assad’s Syria into a ghastly slaughterhouse. Corrupt yet stable tyrannies, which had supported a fragile peace with Israel, have been replaced by nascent Islamist republics and failed or failing states.

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