April 7, 2009

The Real Barrier to Peace

Marty Peretz in The New Republic:

A "two-state solution" is the only possible resolve for the [Arab-Israeli] conflict. And the fact is that, all of the injunctions put before before Jerusalem by the various peace professionals about this solution notwithstanding, the Israeli body politic is itself committed to such a resolve. That has been Israeli policy for at least 16 years. It is a gross lie to deny this. The Greater Israel movement is dead. So is the Peace Now movement that assumed a territorial retreat will resolve everything. This movement died the day after Israel left Gaza.

The outstanding cartographical issues are mostly symbolic and procedural.

So what is the impediment?

It is that Israel cannot assume that any territory from which it withdraws will remain peaceful. What is the evidence that it would? Do you really think that rockets and missiles will not be lobbed into Israel proper on the morning after? And that Palestine's frontier with its Arab neighbors will not become what Gaza's frontier with (relatively well-intentioned) Egypt has become. A cease-fire was made, and the cease fire has not held. What's more, the smuggling of trajectiles and other weapons through the tunnels of the strip goes on unabated. This is despite a United Nations resolution. And in southern Lebanon another cease-fire resolution providing for an end to smuggling from Iran and Syria to Hezbollah is continually violated. One lesson Israel has certainly learned is that U.N. Security Council resolutions are worth less than the paper on which they are printed.

Until this issue is addressed conscientiously and practically there will be no progress on the two-state solution under any borders. And, instead of repeating the two-state shibboleth, it is time for the well-intentioned brokers - President Obama included - to confront the real barrier to peace which is Palestinian and Arab behavior after an Israeli withdrawal. This will be the test, and nothing else.

And here's Shlomo Avineri in Haaretz:

According to Hamas, the Jews are responsible for all the ills of modern society - the French Revolution; the Communist revolution; the establishment of secret associations (Freemasons, Rotary and Lions clubs, B'nai B'rith) designed to help them gain control of the world by secret means. They control the economy, press and television; they are responsible for the outbreak of World War I, which they initiated in order to destroy the Muslim caliphates (the Ottoman empire), to get the Balfour Declaration and set up the League of Nations with the aim of establishing their state. They also initiated World War II in order to make a fortune from selling war materials; they use both capitalism and communism as their agents...

But perhaps it is nevertheless worthwhile talking to Hamas - not about its contribution to peace but rather about what is stated in its covenant. Perhaps those who espouse the view that we must talk with Hamas will first talk with it about these subjects? Who knows, perhaps it will change its principles? I do not expect this to happen exactly, but I am certainly curious to know what those who think Hamas is the key to peace in the Middle East will say about these things.

And perhaps they are actually correct, perhaps Hamas is the key. If that's the case, it's difficult to expect that peace can be established in our region.
Posted by Michael J. Totten at April 7, 2009 1:53 AM

What is wrong with negotiating with Hamas. Hamas has offered to be helpful in fighting AQ linked networks.

Didn't Hamas offer a 10 year Hudna. Couldn't Israel counter offer with a 30 year Hudna, and see what happens?

Posted by: anand Author Profile Page at April 7, 2009 11:43 AM

Hamas has a great track record for honesty and civilized discourse.

This unsophisticated American would just as soon see the Hamas leadership sent to Allah (you know, the ME being so complicated and all). Ahh, darn it, there is my bias against Islamic Extremist's showing again.

Kind of like we should engage in more discussions with North Korea.

Posted by: rsnyder Author Profile Page at April 7, 2009 5:41 PM

"What is wrong with negotiating with Hamas. Hamas has offered to be helpful in fighting AQ linked networks."

Thomas The Tank Engine's train is about to leave the station now. Shouldn't you be on it?

Posted by: Li'l Mamzer Author Profile Page at April 7, 2009 6:16 PM

Oh, Marty Peretz is too much of an apologist. I also lay the greater blame on Palestinian terrorism, but to say the Greater Israel movement is dead is hogwash. They've just taken a lower profile. I see them as the enemy, even more than Hamas. Hamas we know how to deal with, whereas we are powerless against the settlers and their blackmail.

Posted by: MarkC Author Profile Page at April 7, 2009 9:42 PM

"Didn't Hamas offer a 10 year Hudna."

Upon which they resume their clearly stated goal to annihilate the Jews? What a pathetic tool and apologist you are, anand.

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at April 7, 2009 10:11 PM

anand is turning cartwheels because Lieberman may go to jail, but he wants to negotiate with the bloodthirsty savages of Hamas. You ain't fooling anyone with that smarmy rhetoric, kid.

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at April 7, 2009 10:14 PM

"What is wrong with negotiating with Hamas. Hamas has offered to be helpful in fighting AQ linked networks"

Lets see, whats wrong with it? Well when a group sets a goal to destroy the Jews, then it's kinda hard to work with. And look who broke the cease-fire that ultimately led to Operation cast lead. Hamas! how can somebody in their right mind claim the Jews need to keep working with the Hamas?
Hamas can not be trusted under ANY circumstances.

Posted by: Political blogger Author Profile Page at April 8, 2009 7:09 AM
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