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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 4-May-2017
4-May-17 World View -- Channeling Sisyphus, Trump and Abbas say Mideast peace not as hard as it looks

Web Log - May, 2017

4-May-17 World View -- Channeling Sisyphus, Trump and Abbas say Mideast peace not as hard as it looks

Donald Trump and Mahmoud Abbas commit to work for historic Mideast peace deal

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from

Donald Trump and Mahmoud Abbas commit to work for historic Mideast peace deal

Mahmoud Abbas and Donald Trump shake hands at the White House on Wednesday (Getty)
Mahmoud Abbas and Donald Trump shake hands at the White House on Wednesday (Getty)

Meeting in the White House on Wednesday, president Donald Trump met with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, and agreed to work together to reach a historic peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.

In the briefing that followed the meeting, Trump recalled that Abbas had participated in the development of the Oslo Peace Accords in 1994:

"Almost 24 years ago, it was on these grounds that President Abbas stood with a courageous peacemaker, then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Here at the White House, President Abbas signed a Declaration of Principles -- very important -- which laid the foundation for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

The President -- Mr. President, you [Abbas] signed your name to the first Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. You remember that well, right? And I want to support you in being the Palestinian leader who signs his name to the final and most important peace agreement that brings safety, stability, and prosperity to both peoples and to the region."

Trump didn't mention what a disastrous failure the Oslo peace accords have been. Another thing that Trump neglected to mention was that year later, in 1995, Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by an Israeli nationalist who opposed the Oslo peace accords.

Trump's statement concluded:

"I welcome President Abbas here today as a demonstration of ... that very special partnership that we all need to make it all work. And I look forward to welcoming him back as a great marker of progress and, ultimately, toward the signing of a document with the Israelis and with Israel toward peace. We want to create peace between Israel and the Palestinians. We will get it done. We will be working so hard to get it done. It's been a long time, but we will be working diligently. And I think there's a very, very good chance, and I think you feel the same way."

Abbas then responded with his own statement:

"Mr. President, we believe that we are capable and able to bring about success to our efforts because, Mr. President, you have the determination and you have the desire to see it become to fruition and to become successful. And we, Mr. President, inshallah, God willing, we are coming into a new opportunity, a new horizon that would enable us to bring about peace in that regard. ...

Mr. President, itís about time for Israel to end its occupation of our people and of our land after 50 years. We are the only remaining people in the world that still live under occupation. We are aspiring and want to achieve our freedom, our dignity, and our right to self-determination. And we also want for Israel to recognize the Palestinian state just as the Palestinian people recognize the state of Israel.

Mr. President, I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace. And we are endeavoring to bring about security, freedom and peace for our children to live like the other children in the world, along with the Israeli children in peace, freedom and security.

Mr. President, I bring with me today the message of the suffering of my people, as well as their aspiration and hope -- the hopes and aspirations of the Palestinian people from the Holy Land, from that land where the three monotheist religions thrived, and the Jewish faith, the Christian faith and the Muslim faith, where they all coexist together to foster it in an environment of security, peace and stability, and love for all."

Abbas said that "we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace," but the Palestinian president, born in 1935, neglected to mention that polls indicate that two-thirds of the Palestinian people want him to resign, and consider him irrelevant and unable to do anything to help the Palestinians.

It's the young people today who will not tolerate a peace settlement of any kind. Many young Israelis consider it to be an almost Messianic mission to build settlements in the West Bank and to defend them with their lives.

And the young Palestinians have been given the ironic name "Oslo Generation," because they've grown up since the 1994 Oslo agreement and have seen nothing come out of it, and so have no respect for Abbas and other Palestinian leaders.

So even if Trump and Abbas and Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu did hammer out some kind of agreement, it would be worthless, because the young Israelis and young Palestinians would not honor it. NBC News and WAFA (Palestine) and White House

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Donald Trump and Mahmoud Abbas try again, channeling Sisyphus

One of the most well-known characters in Greek Mythology was Sisyphus. In his life he double-crossed Zeus, the king of the gods, as well as the gods of the underworld. For his deceit and trickery, he was condemned to eternal punishment. He would forever roll a massive boulder up to the top of a steep hill, but whenever he neared the top, the rock would roll down to the bottom, and he'd have to start over again.

So anyway, former president Jimmy Carter once said in Jerusalem that one of the deep regrets of his presidency was that he had not been able to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There were numerous repeated attempts at Mideast peace by Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama.

I posted my very first Generational Dynamics analysis on May 1, 2003, when president George Bush published his "Mideast Roadmap to Peace," which described the details of a two-state solution. I wrote that Generational Dynamics predicts that the plan would fail because the Jews and the Arabs would be refighting the 1948 war that followed the partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. Here's what I wrote:

"We are now in the early stages of replaying the extremely violent, bloody wars between the Jews and the Palestinians that took place between them from 1936 to 1949. So far the war has been little more than a series of skirmishes, as it was in the late 1930s. The full-fledged violent, bloody war is awaiting a generational change.

There's an incredible irony going on in the Mideast today, in that the leaders of two opposing sides are, respectively, Ariel Sharon and Yassir Arafat.

These two men hate each other, but they're the ones cooperating with each other (consciously or not) to prevent a major Mideast conflagration. Both of them remember the wars of the 1940s, and neither of them wants to see anything like that happen again. And it won't happen again, as long as both of these men are in charge.

The disappearance of these two men will be part of an overall generational change in the Mideast that will lead to a major conflagration within a few years. It's possible that the disappearance of Arafat alone will trigger a war, just as the election of Lincoln ignited the American Civil War. (It's currently American policy to get rid of Arafat. My response is this: Be careful what you wish for.)"

Since that time, Yassir Arafat died, and was replaced by Mahmoud Abbas, who was also a survivor of the 1948 war and remembered its horrors.

Since 2006, there have been five wars involving Israel and Palestinians: the war between Israelis and Hezbollah, fought largely on Lebanon's soil in 2006; the war between Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah in Gaza in 2008, that led to Hamas control of Gaza; Operation Cast Lead, the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza early in 2009; the two wars between Israel and Hamas in Gaza in November, 2012 and July-August 2014.

In addition, the "Arab Spring" began in 2011, resulting in wars in Libya, Yemen and Syria, and unrest in Egypt and Lebanon. Furthermore, tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia have surged as a result of the genocidal acts of Syria's Shia/Alawite president Bashar al-Assad directed at Sunnis. Each day we move closer to a war that will engulf the whole region, between Arabs and Jews, between Sunnis and Shias, and between various ethnic groups such as Kurds versus Turks.

With wars occurring today across the entire Mideast, can anyone seriously believe today that some piece of paper signed by Abbas, Trump and Netanyahu would actually bring about a new Mideast where Israelis and Palestinians are living together side by side in peace? If there is, I'd like to give him a good deal on selling him the Brooklyn Bridge. Jerusalem Post

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(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 4-May-17 World View -- Channeling Sisyphus, Trump and Abbas say Mideast peace not as hard as it looks thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (4-May-2017) Permanent Link
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