by Jake Maccoby
The intense fighting that has gone on between the Israelis and the Palestinians since the founding of the Jewish State more than fifty years ago came to an abrupt end following recent comments by Vice President Dick Cheney that seem to have motivated the two groups to come to an agreement.
At a hastily-planned Peace Summit today, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert signed a peace treaty that effectively ended the decades-long dispute between the Israeli state and the Palestinian territories that simmered for years over Israel’s fundamental right to exist.
The turnaround comes on the heels of comments by Vice President Dick Cheney, who said recently that he was “frustrated” with the lack of a Middle East peace agreement that he felt was “long overdue.”
“The last time he was ‘frustrated,’ they invaded Baghdad,” said one Palestinian official who declined to be named for fear of incurring the Vice President’s wrath. “I mean, sure, I’d like more land, but I don’t need it that badly. We all kind of live in small clusters, anyways. We were concerned with environmentally sustainable open spaces, mostly, but that’s no deal breaker. No biggie—there’s no need for him to get involved whatsoever.”
An Israeli official sounded a similar theme: “Yeah, he had talked about coming over here again to ‘evaluate’ the situation. But everything is fine. We’re cool now. Really. It’s fine. Seriously, he doesn’t need to come over.”
Multiple setbacks have caused stagnation in the peace process, and prospects for a settlement have long appeared unlikely. Though tentative ceasefires have occasionally taken place, and near-breakthroughs have occurred, these have always been shattered by discord.
Representatives of Hamas, the militant terrorist faction that now holds control of Gaza, also attended the summit, and during it they permanently renounced violence towards the Israelis.
“We apologized for everything, we talked it out, and I think we’re okay now,” said one Hamas leader. “We all just got really carried away, that’s all. I mean, bombing buses and firing rockets? I don’t know what we were thinking. Sometimes you get caught up in the moment, you know? I’m going to jail, I’ll tell you that. [Cheney] can’t get into a jail, right?”
During his Middle East trip, Vice President Cheney traveled through Iraq, Oman, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Turkey, leaving peace and fearful harmony in his wake. In Turkey, the government reached out to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, also known as the PKK, with whom they had recently been engaged in a bloody confrontation. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that he was “very pleased” with the truce, and that he saw no reason to doubt its durability.
“Why, what did he say? Is he coming? What have you heard?”
Although the majority of the truces and ceasefires seem to have been reached out of pure terror, most casual observers see these newly-minted armistices as positive developments. Though they may have been reached under duress, there is hope that the alliances will strengthen over time and lead to a lasting peace in the Middle East.