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Monday, March 26, 2007

Definitely an obstacle

This morning's Washington Post continues a longstanding tradition of giving exaggerated voice to 'Palestinian' apologists who continue to preach 'peace' out of one side of their mouths, while the other side - and the 'Palestinian people' - continue to make war. Today's 'Palestinian' apologist is Daoud Kuttab, who is trying to convince us all that the adoption of Hamas' platform by Fatah is actually an 'opportunity' to make peace piece by piece of Israel.
For the first time in the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, a majority of Palestinians, including the Islamists, are willing to accept a Palestinian state within the internationally acceptable borders of 1967. The implicit recognition of Israel in this is supported by clauses in agreements between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel that included mutual recognition as well as respect for Arab and international resolutions and treaties. By demanding explicit recognition before negotiations can begin, Israel and others are being unreasonable. No other people without sovereignty has been forced to recognize an occupier whose borders are vague. By accepting an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza alongside Israel, the Palestinians have declared the borders of their own state and offer the possibility of mutual recognition through negotiation.
If the 'Palestinians' are willing to recognize the State of Israel's 'existence' (as if facts can be denied), whether explicitly or implicitly, they know exactly how to do so. Hamas, which is the dominant party in the 'unity government,' both in terms of votes and ideology, has said repeatedly that it does not and never will recognize Israel's 'right to exist.' It's high time that the world stopped trying to read what it wants into the 'Palestinians' words and listen to what they are actually saying. Especially to what they are saying in Arabic. Until the 'Palestinians' accept Israel's 'right to exist,' they have not accepted that what they are negotiating for is a state alongside Israel. And given that Hamas has repeatedly told the world that it will never accept a state alongside Israel, even as an 'interim solution,' the request is not at all unreasonable.

And speaking of things that "no other people" has been asked to do, I wonder if Mr. Kuttab can name another nation that has been forced to forfeit territory that it won in a defensive war in return for a piece of paper. I thought so....
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the supreme military commander, has called for an end to occupation through negotiations and has rejected outright the use of violence. While insisting on the people's right to resist occupation through any method, the unity government prioritizes nonviolent resistance. Furthermore, by seeking to extend the cease-fire in Gaza to the West Bank, the new government is offering an olive branch to the Israelis even before negotiations begin.
Insisting on "the people's right to resist occupation through any method" is a contradiction to rejecting "outright the use of violence." Even if the rejection were sincere (which it is not - the 'moderate' Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen called for violence against Israel quite recently), it would be vitiated by the reservation of the right to "resist occupation through any method." Even the Post's own Jackson Diehl - who is far from a pro-Israel columnist - got this part right one week ago today:
As Israelis, especially, know all too well, conditions are anything but ripe. Both Abbas and Olmert are terribly weak; Olmert's popularity rating is in the single digits. Abbas has just been pressured by Hamas into accepting a "unity" government whose platform endorses continuing "resistance" -- i.e., violence -- against Israel.
There's lots more that can be said about this column, but most of it is repeating arguments I have made in the past. The key points are above.


At 10:36 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

I don't understand Kuttab. Ostensibly he's a moderate. But here's he's defending Hamas. And Christians like him would be dhimmi under Hamas rule. Does he lack a person's usual self defense mechanisms?


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