Saul Singer at PostGlobal

Saul Singer

Jerusalem, Israel

Saul Singer, a columnist and former editorial page editor at the Jerusalem Post, is co-author of the forthcoming book, Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle. He has also written for the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, Middle East Quarterly, Moment, the New Leader, and (an Israeli/Palestinian e-zine). Before moving to Israel in 1994, he served as an adviser in the United States Congress to the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Banking Committees. He is also on Twitter. Close.

Saul Singer

Jerusalem, Israel

Saul Singer is a columnist and former editorial page editor at the Jerusalem Post. more »

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Confront Real Obstacle: Genocidal Jihad

The first thing Tony Blair should do is rethink the whole concept of a "Mideast envoy." What the job needs most now is not a mediator but a truth-teller.

For decades, the process has been implicitly built on a simple syllogism: peace requires a Palestinian state, Israel objects to such a state, therefore lean on Israel. Many things have changed since this formulation was devised, but the underlying strategy hasn't.

Israel set a Palestinian state in motion at Oslo (1993), offered one to Yasser Arafat at Camp David (2000), and unilaterally created one in Gaza (2005). Yet the more Israel embraced Palestinian statehood, including even the right-wing icon Ariel Sharon, the more violent and radicalized the Palestinians have become.

In a major address during last summer's war in Lebanon, Blair hit on the real obstacle to peace. He said that Hezbollah was not fighting "for the coming into being of a Palestinian state, but for the going out of being of an Israeli state."

The struggle for peace is no longer between Israelis and Palestinians. It is between the jihadi axis (Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda, Syria and Iran) that wants to block a Palestinian state at all costs; and the West, moderate Arabs and Israel, who want to resolve the Palestinian problem and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Palestinians are much too weak and radicalized to shift themselves over to the peace camp. What they need is a serious push by "moderate" Arab states. These states, such as Saudi Arabia, claim they are for peace, but continue to demonize Israel at the UN, foment anti-Semitism, and boycott Israel instead leading the way with normalization and direct talks.

If Saudi King Abdullah, let alone Syrian President Assad, really wants peace with Israel, why is it unthinkable for them to meet with an Israeli leader, either in Jerusalem or in their own capitals? Why don't they start settling Palestinian refugees instead of staying silent while even Mahmoud Abbas promises they will "return" to Israel,¬ which is code for Israel's destruction?

Blair's first task for peace should be to expose the real obstacle to peace: the jihadi front's genocidal dream of destroying Israel. Next, he should turn to those who have the power to dismantle this obstacle through leadership by example: the Arab states who say they want peace.

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