UPDATES 6 pm Israel time Thursday:
*More red sirens for incoming missiles from Gaza for the Beer Tuvia region of southern Israel last night. There have been no reports on where the missiles hit or the destruction that was caused. Whatever that destruction was, it was another night of traumatic terror for the residents of southern Israel.
*A major, well-armed, five man Palestinian terror cell has been captured in Jerusalem. The cell was on the verge of carrying out an assault on Jewish worshipers on the Temple Mount.
*According to sources within Iran today, the ayatollahs have tripled the number of centrifuges at its Natanz uranium enrichment facility–further evidence of the absolute failure of economic sanctions against Iran and all so-called “negotiations” with Khamanei, Ahmadinejad and their cronies.
*One of Hezbollah’s most noted field commanders, Haj Hussein Habib, was killed in battle in Syria yesterday; a full busload of Hezbollah fighters was wiped out in Syria this morning. On Syria’s southern border, the the U.S. has moved an additional 50 military officers into Jordan.
Your humble servant had to laugh as he listened to American Secretary of State John Kerry testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday:
“I believe the window for a two-state solution is shutting. I think we have some period of time, a year, a year-and-a-half, or two years or it’s over.”
If you listen closely, you can always hear windows shutting all over the Middle East: the window of opportunity for Iran to stop its nuclear program has been shutting for years, and the window of opportunity for Bashir Assad to stop the slaughter of his people without facing dire repercussions has been shutting for more than two years.
However, the window of opportunity for Israel to make peace with the Palestinians has been open for decades and apparently never closes.
President Obama speaking a week ago at a White House ceremony attended by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon:
“There is at least a window of opportunity for both Israelis and Palestinians to get back to the peace table.”
Shimon Peres, Interview Jerusalem Post, November 7, 2011:
“The shades may be drawn over most of the Middle East, but the window of opportunity that remains open is that of peace with the Palestinians.”
Ehud Olmert, Op-Ed in the New York Times, September 21, 2011:
Today, such a [peace] initiative is more necessary than ever to prove to the world that Israel is a peace-seeking country. The window of opportunity is limited. Israel will not always find itself sitting across the table from Palestinian leaders like Mr. Abbas . . .
George Mitchell, President Obama’s special envoy for Middle East Peace, speaking on September 1, 2010:
“Now, I believe that it is an awareness of these and other realities by the two leaders and their leadership that there is a window of opportunity within the next year [to achieve an historic deal between Israel and the Palestinians].”
Window of Opportunity for a Two-State Solution: Policy Recommendations for the Obama Administration on the Israeli-Palestinian Front, Center for American Progress, July 2009:
The Obama administration sees a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the cornerstone of its evolving Middle East strategy. Yet the window of opportunity for achieving a viable two-state solution is rapidly closing—at a time when Israelis and Palestinians seem incapable and unwilling to achieve a sustainable peace agreement.
Shimon Peres, as quoted in WikiLeaks, December 29, 2004:
Labor Party Leader Shimon Peres told Senator Lieberman and the Ambassador December 27 that the Palestinian humanitarian situation is “quite serious,” and acknowledged that Israel has a “window of opportunity” to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Yitzhak Rabin, Knesset speech October 3, 1994 in reference to the Oslo Accords:
“The expression window of opportunity is indeed the correct expression of these times.”
So, when your humble servant hears John Kerry talk about a window of opportunity for peace with the Palestinians, he involuntarily experiences paroxysms of laughter.
If Rabin’s Oslo process didn’t lead the Palestinians to peace, if Barak’s offer of 2000 didn’t lead the Palestinians to peace, if the Israeli unilateral disengagement from Gaza didn’t lead the Palestinians to peace, if the Olmert offer of 2007-2008 didn’t lead the Palestinians to peace–then all talk about a current “window of opportunity” for peace with the Palestinians is just that–talk.