Ex-Mossad chief: Peace will elude us until we treat Palestinians with dignity

The Times of Israel reports: There will never be peace in the Middle East as long as Israelis don’t treat the Palestinians as equals, Efraim Halevy said last week, accusing senior government officials of advancing “condescending” policies toward the Palestinians.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Times of Israel, the former head of the Mossad intelligence agency accused the outgoing government, especially Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, of having violated the fragile status quo in Jerusalem. The elections of March 2015 are not merely a referendum on Israel’s leadership, he said, but constitute an unprecedented opportunity to determine Israel’s policy vis-à-vis the peace process.

Israel’s 1979 peace treaty with Egypt was made possible by the fact that both sides considered themselves the victors of the Yom Kippur War six years earlier, according to Halevy. Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat could only reach an agreement because they each felt “equal” — and precisely such a framework of equality, which allows for both sides to feel dignified, is needed for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, he said.

“I do not think we will make any progress until that moment arrives, and I fear that it will take a very long time before it happens, if at all,” he said. “And if it never happens, there will never be peace between us and the Palestinians. And if it never happens, we’re sentenced to a very long term of struggle.” [Continue reading…]

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