March 17, 2006

Parallel Unilateralisms

To follow up on the Hamas reference in Andrew's last post (gia sou re Andrea me tis pitzames sou!) -- even though I never comment on Israeli-Palestinian matters -- Steven Erlanger had an actually sober piece on Hamas and the repercussions of its electoral victory:
The "peace process" is effectively dead.

The diplomatic assumptions of recent years - a peace treaty after a negotiated territorial compromise between Israel and Palestine, or "land for peace" - are blown apart. Ariel Sharon tried to redefine the bargain as "a state for security" - in other words, an independent Palestinian state in return for dismantling all armed "terrorist" groups, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades. That was a commitment undertaken in the "road map" by Yasser Arafat and reconfirmed by Mahmoud Abbas.

But it seems unlikely Hamas will dismantle itself. Nor, its leaders say, will it abandon "the right of resistance to occupation." Its religious conviction is that all of Palestine, including the current state of Israel, is Islamic "waqf" land - land belonging to the world's Muslims that no Muslim can sell or cede.

Hamas talks of a long-term hudna, or armistice, with Israel - so long as Israel returns to its 1967 boundaries (the armistice lines of the unfinished 1948-49 war), unannexes East Jerusalem and lets all refugees and their descendants return to their pre-1948 homes. The state of Israel itself, Hamas insists, has no right to exist on Islamic waqf land.

So with Hamas, the argument has moved from nationalism and territorial compromise, which can be negotiated, to religious conviction and a temporary Israeli lease on its sovereignty.

A long, hostile quiet may be possible. Israelis and Palestinians may pursue parallel unilateralisms. But serious negotiations on a peace settlement? Very unlikely. Abbas calls for talks. But after Hamas, Israel now considers him unable to deliver the mail, let alone a realistic, permanent two-state solution.
The whole thing, I think, is pretty much on target, especially the parts about Hamas itself.

A friend of mine put it bluntly: "the US is out of the peace process." And if further musing were in order, one may speculate that the Russians seem to think they may be able to get back in through the Syrian track, and hit several birds with one stone. But that too, if it were indeed true, is quite the shaky proposal on all levels. So I guess Erlanger's declaration that the process is dead and that what we'll most likely be seeing are "parallel unilateralisms," is largely correct.

Having said that, I now return to my normal policy of not commenting on Israeli-Palestinian issues! Erin go bragh!

Tony Badran.

Posted by Tony Badran at March 17, 2006 08:04 PM

There is a certain unchanging primitive reflex in the 32 year delivery of Syrian and Iranian hate through Hamas to Israel.

That could be one reason not to comment on a seemingly unchangable situation.

Hamas has put up a fun kiddy website with incentives to become a walking bomb for Muhammad.

How any humanity can stoop to this base level and do so with enthusiasm, in public view, brings new meaning to the word hate.
10words TG

Posted by: TonyGuitar at March 18, 2006 12:16 PM

GOOD News:
Ganji has been released after 6 years confined!

Iran is getting the message at last.. The force of the recent insurgency clean-up north of Baghdad may have been noticed by AMADinejad via Al-Jazeera TV.

Posts similar to mine on Persian blogsites to the effect that the US give Iran 6 days notice before installing the Green Glow that makes street lighting unnecessary. [ tongue in cheek], may have made for a little uneasiness.

Ganji, looking like death warmed over, due to his hunger strike, came in TV camera view exclaiming how he was abused and pouring vitriol on his captors. He has no fear of death.

TV cameras showed Ganji and his wife and others smiling broadly and very happy.
Whatever, it is good news. TG

Posted by: TonyGuitar at March 18, 2006 04:27 PM

Good news indeed. More on the story here.

Posted by: Tony at March 18, 2006 04:50 PM

Do you know why Erin go bragh?

She drank too much.

Posted by: M. Simon at March 24, 2006 03:43 AM
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