David Makovsky, at podium, is a frequent media commentator on Arab-Israeli affairs for such programs as PBS's Newshour with Jim Lehrer.
The Cause is Not Lost
After 40 years of unsuccessful efforts to broker a permanent peace in the Middle East, America could be forgiven for throwing up its hands and declaring the whole thing an unachievable dream.
But that would be a mistake, said David Makovsky, director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Invited to the Columbus School of Law on Nov. 18 by CUA’s Middle East Religious Dialogue Program to address the current state of the peace process, Makovsky’s remarks offered a more hopeful view of the future than is heard from many other experts these days.
“I see changes because I see a convergence of interest,” said Makovsky. Using football metaphors, Makovsky said that Israel, Palestine and America have too often waited for a “Hail Mary” pass, a dramatic breakthrough development, to bring peace to the region.
Much more realistic, he argued, is incremental progress—short yardage— that takes the geography and the demography of both peoples fully into account. Makovsky said any real progress depends on the clear definition of national borders between two distinct nations, Israel and Palestine, a solution that removes the nebulous status of settlements in occupied territories.
“The Palestinians don’t care if Israel gets what it wants, as long as they get what they want,” said Makovsky. “We need a two-state solution where each side can say, I got something big.”
Makovsky has served as foreign editor of both Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post. His most recent book, co-written with National Security Council member Dennis Ross, is “Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction in the Middle East.”