Hat-tip to SLC in the comments: Michael Bloomberg gave his two cents on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and his advice really is worth about two cents. He said,
If [certain organizations] don’t renounce terrorism, if they don’t agree to abide by previous accords and if they don’t recognize Israel, then I personally don’t think Israel should speak with them.
Translation: Israel should negotiate with groups that already agree with it, instead of groups that represent the Palestinians. The way things are trending now, the Munich agreement’s most disastrous consequence is not going to be causing World War Two. Instead, it’s going to be giving nationalists an excuse not to negotiate, causing World War Three.
Neither Egypt nor Jordan recognized Israel at the time Israel negotiated with it. While Jordan had had relatively cordial relations with Israel for decades – King Hussein tried warning Golda Meir of the Yom Kippur War – Egypt hadn’t. Only a few years before Camp David, Sadat had teamed up with Assad in trying to militarily conquer Israel.
The main fear people have is that the other side uses negotiation as a salami method, as in Munich. And, in a way, it makes sense. If an equally powerful opponent demands cession of territory that it either doesn’t deserve or that you need to protect yourself, and if it’s about the fifth time he demands territory as a form of justice, you shouldn’t give it to him.
In the I/P case, however, a) Israel’s conventional military is far stronger than anything Palestine could muster, b) the goal of establishing a state in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank but not beyond has been out in the open for at least 10 years, and c) Israel doesn’t need either of the two to protect itself because of its peace agreements with Jordan and Egypt.