Faced with the current turmoil in the Middle East, Israel cannot afford to maintain a defensive position and take refuge in a status quo.
It is now likely that next September the Palestinian Authority will ask the United Nations General Assembly to recognize the Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. This comes after several countries, notably in South America, have already officially done so. The United States as well as several EU members may well follow suit in the coming months.
Benjamin Netanyahou’s government has proved incapable both of foreseeing and acting upon this chain of events. Israel now finds itself almost completely isolated internationally, which threatens its national interests. Israel must now take initiatives in order to resurrect the peace process, which stalled months ago. Nor can it afford to maintain a defensive position or to hide behind the ongoing discussions between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
When an agreement is reached, it is essential that both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas endorse the basic principles for peace: recognition of the state of Israel and renunciation of violence and terrorism.
If either the Palestinians or Israel do not meet these conditions, violence may well break out once more and chatter all hopes for peace, gravely damaging both parties’ interests, which only Iran and Hezbollah would benefit from.