Outside of a very few individual and outstanding Palestinians like Bassem Eid - Palestinians who are vilified by the mainstream as being sellouts - no Palestinian leader is interested in real peace, nor has there ever been one.
The most "dovish" Palestinians do not accept Israel as a Jewish state. Polls show that most Palestinians look at the two state solution as a stage towards gaining all of Israel. The Palestinian consensus, bizarrely, is not for Palestine to be a place of refuge and citizenship for the Palestinian "diaspora" but rather that those Palestinians move to the hated enemy state of Israel. The reason is obvious and has nothing to do with human rights - they want to eliminate the Jewish state demographically.
Since Oslo, Palestinians have taught their children that Israel is a permanent part of the region, but that it is all theirs, and they will conquer it all one day. That's over 25 years of children being indoctrinated into hate and no desire to allow a Jewish state to exist.
Please find me a counterexample showing a real desire for real peace by any part of the Palestinian establishment. Ever.
Given this, why is Israel consistently being pressured to compromise with people who truly do not accept Israel except as a temporary aberration of history that they will eventually conquer?
I want a real answer from J-Street, or Peter Beinart, or Truah Rabbis or B'Tselem or anyone. Is there anything in my analysis that is wrong? Is there some underground Palestinian majority of potential leaders who really want peace with Israel?
Now, Israel has no desire to rule over a few million non-resident Arabs. It never did. But look at what happened with Gaza - Israel washed its hands of the sector but the world still insists that Israel is responsible for it. So even those more-realistic dovish Jews who want Israel to disengage from most of the West Bank unilaterally are engaged in wishful thinking that the world would not still consider the entire area "occupied."
The only possible way a two state solution can work is if the Palestinians take responsibility for truly wanting peace, and teaching it to their people. If the only Palestinian state imaginable is one where Jews who want to visit their holy sites under Arab rule are fearful for their lives, then that is not a state that anyone should want - and it would not bring any peace. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from Joseph's Tomb in Nablus.
But if that is the only viable possibility for a two state solution, then why is nobody from the left working with Palestinians to accept the reality of a permanent Jewish state? Why doesn't Europe pressure Palestinians to teach their children peace? Why is it accepted that Palestinians can boycott any Israeli peace initiative in the name of "anti-normalization?"
If a Palestine could exist where Jews felt safe, then peace would come very quickly thereafter. "Settlements" would be no problem because Jews who wanted to stay would be allowed to become citizens without fear.
There is no path to peace by pressuring the one side that has shown a desire for peace. The only way is to change the Palestinian vision from one of conquest to one of coexistence and peace with Israel and with Jews.
If the two-staters really and truly want peace, there is only one side to pressure. That absence of pressure - in fact, the tacit or explicit support for their intransigence - is the only real obstacle to peace.
I know that most left-leaning Jews who study this topic truly want peace. Yet they all seem to be stuck in a strange mindset that "if only Israel would do X, then there will be peace." Where is the evidence? What has ever happened in the past 100 years to lend credence to those assumptions that Palestinians respond favorably to Israeli concessions with good will? There is a difference between real analysis and wishful thinking.
But please - if I'm wrong, explain it to me.