President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a news conference Wednesday. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press) President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press)

It is a measure of how the promise of the Oslo process has disintegrated that a good-faith suggestion by a pro-Israel American to restart the “peace process” gets laughs and boos.

The Jerusalem Post reports:

Harvard law professor and prominent American Zionist Alan Dershowitz presented a plan to restart peace negotiations with the Palestinians on Sunday at the 2013 Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York. . . .


“Among the things I asked Abbas,” Dershowitz added, was: “‘If this deal were made, would you agree to not bring cases before the International Criminal Court?’ His answer was: ‘That’s a serious question, and I’m going to give it serious consideration.’”


Following laughter from the audience, Dershowitz lashed out, saying: “It’s so easy to laugh, but I have to tell you the audience today is not helpful in resolving complex and serious issues,” which led to loud jeers and boos.


Dershowitz was booed loudly after telling audience members they are “part of the problem” for laughing at his new framework for negotiations.


“You’re proving my point,” Dershowitz hit back. “You are part of the problem, not the solution.”

Actually, the crowd was entirely correct. It is not those who observe the futility of the “peace process” who are the problem. Consider where the parties are: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refuses to sit down without preconditions. He forced out the only reformer in the PA, Salam Fayyad, and instead has hooked up with Hamas. Abbas violated the essence of the Oslo Accords by going to the United Nations for unilateral recognition. Oh, and where Israel has withdrawn, most especially Gaza, it has invited violence. Now who is kidding whom about the “peace process”?

As to the specific question, Abbas violated international agreements by going to the United Nations and now may possibly use that as a springboard to declare continued Israeli presence to be a violation of international law.

And Dershowitz accepts at face value that this is a complex issue.

Actually it is simple, and I suspect Dershowitz understands it all too well. Israel has no peace partner; the Palestinians have no leaders willing and able to make peace. To suggest that pro-Israel Americans who recognize these facts are the problem is, well, laughable.

The Palestinians’ situation could be improved by transparency and democracy (Abbas is four years past the supposed election date). It could be improved by demanding that Hamas abide by the Quartet Principles or, if it refuses, ending the “unity government.” It could be improved by continuing Fayyadism — building institutions from the ground up — even if Fayyad does not return. And of course, by giving up the idea of a one-state solution (Palestinians swamp Israel and thereby expunge the Jewish state) and sitting down without preconditions, the PA might even get a state someday. None of this is likely to happen any time soon. Now, that’s the problem.