By Emanuel Storch
On May 2, Aaron David Miller, a Middle East analyst, author and negotiator, spoke with Union students, professors and guests in the Nott Memorial. He spoke about the intricacies of the Middle East, and the role of the United States in those issues.
Miller worked in the U.S. State Department for 24 years, advising many negotiations between Israel and Palestine.
The first statement he made regarded the fact that the United States has no enemy neighbors, no history of occupation and no conception of what it means to live with the threat of its own existence. Miller believed that the United States has been seeking a “Hollywood ending” to the conflict between Israel and Palestine, but that this is neither currently realistic nor feasible. Miller says the best option the United States could currently work toward is a conflict resolution.
He claims that while America’s involvement in brokering a resolution between Israel and Palestine is vital, America should not intervene until both parties have true motivations to reach an agreement.
Miller claims that, at the end of the day, the two parties making concessions are Israel and Palestine, and they should not be forced into a deal in which the concessions cannot be effectively implemented.
Miller also made reference to the issue of Fatah and Hamas. Fatah is the party that leads the Palistinian Authority in the West Bank, while Hamas has governmental control of the Gaza Strip.
While Israel continues to negotiate with Fatah, Hamas is a power that governs over one million Palestinians and has access to many weapons.
After Miller spoke in the Nott Memorial, he sat with a small group of students, faculty and guests in Everest Lounge, where those interested had the opportunity to ask and discuss sensitive questions regarding these topics.