An honorable peace is impossible because The Palestinian leadership is deliberately denying that Jews have a legitimate claim to any of the land.
The Palestinians have been involved in a long-term internal debate between those who think they should continue the effort to eliminate Israel, and those who think the fight to destroy it has gone on long enough, and that it’s time for the Palestinians to pursue their own interests in peace and prosperity.
While those who prefer to keep fighting are on top, there is no chance for a negotiated settlement. Serious negotiations can only begin when the predominant view is that it is necessary to give up the effort to destroy Israel.
Currently the Palestinians do not believe they can militarily defeat Israel. Their willingness to keep fighting is now sustained by two hopes: that Israel is becoming soft and divided and that it will lose its will to defend itself, or that their international campaign to delegitimize Israel will lead to international pressure that forces it into a series of retreats that ultimately makes it unable to defend itself.
A second crucial issue is whether the Palestinians believe it would be honorable to make peace. This depends on whether the Jews are colonial thieves stealing land solely on the basis of force, or whether they are a people that also historically lived in the land and are attached to it.
If the Palestinians understood that there are two peoples with long historical and moral claims to the same land, it would be honorable to recognize that fighting is useless and that compromise is an appropriate way to settle the dispute.
Currently, their leadership and elite are adamant in insisting there is no Jewish people, and that there was no Jewish presence in the land before Islam.
They officially and energetically deny that there was ever a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount, despite the many Muslim sources from previous generations that recognized its location in pre-Muslim times.
The Palestinian leadership is deliberately making an honorable peace impossible by falsely denying that Jews have a legitimate claim to any of the land.
Source: Max Singer. He is a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center and a founder and senior fellow of the Hudson Institute.