CLIO mr brice - page 46

What history can teach
us about Israel's future
It was 22 years ago, under a perfectly blue
sky and a sparkling sun that Yasser Arafat
and Yitzhak Rabin stepped out onto the
manicured White House Lawns and enacted a
handshake that was, supposed to be, of world
altering significance. So significant, that it
would potentially bring peace to one of the
world’s most volatile regions. As the hands
of these two warriors met, a bushy-tailed Bill
Clinton willing them together, the assorted
audience of journalists and politicians let out
unchoreographed peals of joy. This crowd, in
that moment, represented a watching world,
a world who truly believed that this was the
beginning of a new dawn of peace. Some said it
might come slowly, but believed it would come
with absolute certainty.
And yet, as I write this in 2015, we can
only look back upon 22 years of hurt for the
peace process. In every failure – from Rabin’s
assassination to the 5,000 lives lost during the
Second Intifada, from the botched peace talks
of Barak and Olmert to the exponential growth
of settlers (nearly three quarters of a million
today), from every human rights abuse to every
rocket fired in Gaza which killed nearly 2000
people in the region during the 2014 conflict
– we seem to have been taking one step further
into a mire of thickening blood, diminished
cooperation and seemingly irresolvable despair.
Figure 1. The infamous handshake between
Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin
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