ISRAEL AND ITS neighbors have been through six wars and countless armed altercations since 1948. Each time, the world unites in calling for peace. The warring parties stand down. But over time, tensions resurface and eventually, another war is in full bloom.
The solution is not just to negotiate another cease-fire; it's to break this cycle.
Of course that's easier said than done, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Egypt and Jordan recognized long ago that the cycle couldn't continue because the cost of continually going to war was too great. They negotiated imperfect peace treaties that didn't come close to redressing theirs or Israel's historical grievances, but they did so acknowledging that the cycle had to stop.
Recall that the Palestine Liberation Organization, just like Hamas today, used to voice its grievances by constantly lobbing Katyusha rockets into Israel from southern Lebanon – until Israel silenced them for good with its 1982 invasion of Lebanon. The PLO eventually negotiated a partial peace, which explains why the West Bank, governed by the PLO's dominant Fatah faction, has been spared Gaza's bloodshed.
Breaking the cycle requires a mutual acceptance that no one will win and that serious compromise among sworn enemies is the only route to peace. This medicine leaves a bitter aftertaste. But it's the only medicine that works.
The Dallas Morning News