"We appreciate professor Srebrnik’s insight, therefore, and hope we can all agree that the world now needs to do better than resurrect a “fiction” that all thinking people see as a fig leaf for the regional normalization of unjust Israeli policies."
September 13, 2023
Professor Srebrnik’s review of Middle East diplomacy is a welcome contribution to the discussion of an important subject. But now more than ever, it is important for us to all carefully distinguish between “normalization” and peace.
Recently, professor Srebrnik has taken to the pages of the Cape Breton Post to sound an alarm, quoting New York Times journalist Thomas Friedman on the Israeli political surge to the far right wing. The professor quotes Friedman on the threat that extreme Israeli action poses to the myth of a moribund peace process: a threat, in Friedman’s words, to “the vitally important shared fiction about the status of the West Bank that has kept peace hopes there just barely alive.”
This is a moment for the rest of us to turn from fiction to fact!
Unfortunately, the fact is that any Arab-Israeli normalization at the state level that does not credibly aim at a just and secure future for the Palestinians is a recipe not for peace, but for war.
So it was when the Israeli–Egyptian Camp David Accords of 1978 cleared the way for Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon. And so it is now, when the Palestinians are under brutal assault, while the West asks Arab states to normalize relations with Israel in the absence of a just and secure peace.
We appreciate professor Srebrnik’s insight, therefore, and hope we can all agree that the world now needs to do better than resurrect a “fiction” that all thinking people see as a fig leaf for the regional normalization of unjust Israeli policies.