One time during a Sabbath meal I had joined with a neighbor of mine, my host started to ask his kids when they would be able to learn, that is to study Torah, with him. As he suggested a few times, the kids would respond that they could not learn then. Eventually, in frustration, he said that he did not want to know when they cannot learn, he wanted to know when they can learn.
Such is the case with explaining Israel's stalled progress towards peace to those who just want to see the conflict end. Throughout the past decade, we have rightfully declared that PA strongman Mahmoud Abbas is not a partner for peace. However, emphasizing reason after reason, which in a fair world would demonstrate that Abbas is indeed not a partner, sound to the end-it-already crowd like just more excuses for not doing anything. What is needed is to identify who would be a partner for peace and what qualities make that person a partner.
Fortunately, Mordechai Kedar has an article up about just such a partner. As Kedar describes, the tribal leaders in each of the major Palestinian cities are partners who would accept Israel as a Jewish state. One could add Mohammed Daoudi Dajani of Wasatiya to this list.
The point of calling attention to these Palestinian alternatives is not about realizing "rights" for the Palestinians, whatever one's opinion is about Palestinian rights. Rather, it is to make a case about what constitutes a viable way forward to any sort of lasting peace. If the current Palestinian powers-that-be (PTB) were amenable to some sort of Jewish sovereignty on some sliver of the Middle East, then providing what is needed for the PTB to agree to the specifics would be the quickest path to peace. However, Abbas has amply demonstrated that he will not accept any Jewish sovereignty on a postage stamp sized plot of Dar al-Islam and that all claims to the contrary are nothing but Taqqiya. Thus, trying to bring about peace by this route would be like Peter trying to end a game of Jumanji by fixing the outcome of a die-roll. Unfortunately, for too many Westerners, this fact without any alternative path to peace is, as Jeremy Ben-Ami would put it, "too depressing."
The alternative path to peace is to identify powers-that-aren't (PTA) that genuinely accept the right of Jews to have a sovereign corner in the Middle East, help them become PTB, and then meet their demands. The impatient Westerners would have two objections to this plan. One would be that it is not for us to choose the Palestinians' leaders. I have no brief answer to this objection, but an answer likely would be needed. The second is that turning the PTA into the PTB would take too long. My answer is that not taking time to turn the PTA into the PTB would be like refusing to take time off from cutting a piece of wood to sharpen your saw because it would waste too much time. If the PTB is not a viable path to peace, then any time lost from boosting the PTA would be time lost from advancing peace. Offer them a choice between preening for the cause of "peace" and doing something that will actually, if more slowly, advance the cause of peace.