See also incitement
It is evident that in adapting the Irish peace
model to the Israel-Palestinian conflict an essential addition to the six Mitchell principles is required, namely an undertaking
to replace incitement by messages of mutual understanding.
.All who dream of a peaceful solution to
the Israel-Arab conflict.must wish former US Senator George Mitchell success in his daunting task as newly-appointed Middle
During his acceptance speech Mitchell said "There's no such thing
as a conflict that cannot be ended. Conflicts are created, conducted and sustained by human beings. They can be ended by human
This statement, which would smack of overconfidence from anyone
else, is justified by Mitchell's solid reputation as a diplomat experienced in helping solve the most stubborn disputes, notably
his part in brokering the peace agreement in war-torn Northern Ireland that culminated in the historic Good Friday agreement
signed in April 1998.
In referring to the long road to peace in Northern Ireland, which
came almost 800 years after Britain began its domination, Mitchell told the amusing story of an elderly gentleman who approached
him after he had mentioned this figure during an address in Jerusalem. The interlocutor asked him to confirm that he had referred
to 800 years. After repeated assurances that the number was correct, the gentleman said, "Ah!
Such a recent argument. No wonder you settled it so easily."
Some skeptics are concerned that the Irish peace agreement cannot
be used as a model for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There are too many major differences. For one, the IRA didn't
threaten the very existence of Great Britain whereas Hamas, supported by Iran, publicly promises to destroy Israel as a Jewish
State. Nor did the IRA have Syria and Iran urging them on and fueling the conflict with arms and money.
But the skeptics can be comforted by the fact that talking to
SinnFein and the IRA took place in the context of what became known as the Mitchell Principles, which required inter alia,
that all parties to the negotiation affirm their total and absolute commitment to democratic and exclusively peaceful means
of resolving political issues, the total disarmament of all paramilitary organizations in a manner that such disarmament be
verifiable to an independent commission, and renouncing for themselves and opposing any effort by others to use force, or
threaten to use force to influence the course or outcome of the negotiations.
In addition the parties agreed to abide by the terms of any agreement
reached in all-party negotiations and to resort to democratic and exclusively peaceful methods in trying to alter any aspect
of that outcome with which they might disagree and to urge that "punishment" killings and beatings stop and to take effective
steps to prevent such actions.
There is little doubt that Israel would agree to all of the above
principles and it would be a great achievement were envoy Mitchell to be able to persuade Hamas to agree in the face of its
categorical refusal to even recognize the existence of the State of Israel. Article 13 of the Hamas covenant unambiguously
states, "Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles
of the Islamic Resistance Movement . . . There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives,
proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."
In a speech by Harri Holkeri, who was intimately involved in the
Irish peace process, he spoke of ten commandments for negotiators that he had learned from his experience, the first of which
is to "Re-establish trust." He said, "In a centuries-long conflict, you eventually
reach a point where the parties on both sides completely lose all perspective of each other's intentions. Yet, no peace process
can succeed unless some degree of trust is restored. Given the time and efforts the parties may have spent destroying trust,
rebuilding trust is necessarily slow. Small steps in the right direction give encouragement to each side."
In the Israeli-Palestinian context, this task of building trust
is the greatest challenge of all in view of the fact that the present generation of Palestinians has been exposed to a continuous
barrage of incitement since early childhood, to hate not only Jews, but all infidels.
It is essential to recognize that the so-called cycle of violence
supposedly starting with aggression by one side followed by retaliation by the other is a misconception. The primary source
is the continuous insidious incitement of infants, school kids and adults in Palestinian mosques and schools to kill infidels,
especially Jews who are described as sons of monkeys and dogs.
There can be no hope for a peaceful solution while Hamas and PA
TV air songs praising terrorists and sermons like those of Dr. Ibraham Madi, who mandates suicide bombing as a religious necessity,
or those of Dr. Ahmad Abu Halabiya, Rector of Advanced Studies at the Islamic University in Gaza, who demands that "Jews must
It is evident that in adapting the Irish peace model to the Israel-Palestinian
conflict an essential addition to the six Mitchell principles is required, namely an undertaking to replace incitement by
messages of mutual understanding.
Read more articles by Maurice Ostroff on IntellectualConservative.com
Copyright 2001-2008 IntellectualConservative.com. All Rights Reserved.