Everyone is distracted, or lulled.
Great things could be happening now.
The PA could be unifying, Hamas could be moderating to the point that they accept Israel at 67 borders. Israel could be actively relaxing roadblocks, opening trade and contact across borders (Gaza and West Bank), forming a long-term moratorium on settlement construction as an indication of intent to actually make peace.
Fatah and Hamas are still talking, but have sidelined all discussion of temporary prime minister until after September, and totally avoided policy discussion. So, as September inches closer, there will not be a unified Palestine to present to the General Assembly and Security Council, but only the same “if” as to policy and practice, that we’ve had for the last five years, thankfully at least not in a state of civil war.
But, likud/Israel beitanhu hasn’t moved an iota closer to peace, nor has the Israeli electorate, and is counting on the implausibility of the UN putting any weight into the September declaration to continue its delay.
Fatah states that even if the General Assembly resolution passes convincingly, that nothing will change until Palestine and Israel negotiate the how-to’s. That would be a good outcome, getting to “how to’s”.
There are MANY wildcards, many parties that desire that there be no peace, no two-state, no “enough Israel” but only “greater Israel” or “no Israel”.
The wildcards are everywhere. Among Israelis, there are those that desire the West Bank to be part of Israel (cleansed of non-Jews) in fulfillment of some weird religious vanity that this period is a repetition of the original conquering of Canaan, and that they are the equivalent of Joshua, trusting in and trusted by God to keep his promise, with them as agents.
There is likud which believes that the land is civil greater Israel, historically Israel rather than messianically. They claim to have gotten political religion, that there is no chance for a simultaneous democratic and Jewish Israel within the boundaries from river to sea.
But, have they? Or, do they just quote their Sharonist new realization as smokescreen? Their extreme risk-aversion, compelling Israeli military presence in the West Bank even after a peace treaty, complete annexation of Jerusalem, and insistence of Arab recognition of Israel as “the Jewish state” rather than as Israel, is an intentional and idiotically intentional obstacle.
There is Hamas which continues to describe all of Israel as “occupied”. To date the most Israel that they have formally accepted is “Palestine at 67 boundaries”, which is none, yet.
There is Palestinian solidarity that supports border storming in Lebanon and Syria, supports the flotilla (another border storming). Many support the concept of a single state, imagining that to be more democratic than partitioned states, even after 80% reject the single state in informal polls. (Maybe I’m wrong, and 80% will soon prefer a single state over a partitioned. I doubt it.)
The tragedy of solidarity undertaking actions like the flotilla is that they enable Hamas to avoid making its critical decision to join the PA in earnest, permanently, respecting the rule of law, continuity of governance, treaty, debt.
Even the human rights oriented dissent in Israel (good people) are misguided in their fixation on condemnation rather than electoral and judicial efforts.
The peace track is relatively simple, well mapped out, solvable.
Stop screwing around people.