As revolutionary change sweeps across the Arab world, it is easy to think that now is not the time to push for peace between Israel and Palestine. Until the dust settles on the new Middle East, the old road maps seem dated and conventional wisdom holds that progress towards a peace agreement is wishful thinking in the face of regional upheaval. But the opposite is true. There is a distinct window of opportunity for the United States and Israel to push urgently for a lasting settlement.
Everyone needs to start thinking differently. The international community’s old approach was to prioritise stability over democracy and pursue Israeli-Arab peace on a totally separate diplomatic track. This policy proved to be a failure – stability over democracy brought neither and isolated peace efforts went nowhere. If the US and other world powers want to make headway on the three objectives – stability, political reform and peace – they need to understand the intimate links among them and chase all three simultaneously and holistically.
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