The premise of the peace process is that disputes should be resolved through negotiations. This is exactly the path Israel has pursued. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly called for direct talks with the Palestinians, he has frozen settlement construction and he has taken a number of confidence-building steps including removing checkpoints.
The Palestinians, however, have never accepted this most basic principle of coexistence and remain unwilling to engage in direct talks. The answer to complaints that Israel is not withdrawing far enough or fast enough should be more negotiations, more confidence-building measures and more demonstrations of a desire to live together without using violence. By contrast, the Palestinian Authority is engaging in a variety of activities that demonstrate an unwillingness to live in peace and that undermine confidence. Here are just a few examples:
As has so often been the case, the Palestinians seem determined to prove to the people of Israel they have no interest in peace. Given these recent behaviors, which followed a five-year Palestinian-instigated war that claimed the lives of more than 1,000 Israeli civilians, and a three-year rocket barrage on southern Israel, is it any wonder that Israelis are reticent to make any additional concessions that would put these Palestinian leaders within Qassam rocket-firing range of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Ben-Gurion Airport?