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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Roger Cohen and Henry Siegman look for the 'moderates' in Hamas

Roger Cohen has devoted yet another of his New York Times columns to seeking to undermine the Jewish state's existence. This time, he and Henry Siegman are seeking to incentivize the 'moderates' in Hamas to go into a 'Palestinian national unity' government without accepting Israel's 'right to exist' (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
Henry Siegman, the president of the U.S./Middle East Project, whose chairman is Scowcroft and board includes all 10 signatories, told me that he met recently with Khaled Meshal, the political director of Hamas in Damascus.

Meshal told him, and put in writing, that although Hamas would not recognize Israel, it would remain in a Palestinian national unity government that reached a referendum-endorsed peace settlement with Israel.

De facto, rather than de jure, recognition can be a basis for a constructive relationship, as Israel knows from the mutual benefits of its shah-era dealings with Iran.

Israeli governments have negotiated a two-state solution although they included religious parties that do not recognize Palestinians’ right to statehood.

“But,” Siegman said, “if moderates within Hamas are to prevail, a payoff is needed for their moderation. And until the U.S. provides one, there will be no Palestinian unity government.”
This is the best of all worlds for Hamas. Hamas gets 'incentives' to sit in a government with Fatah that may enter into 'negotiations' with Israel, without recognizing Israel's 'right to exist,' and it gets to continue carrying out terror attacks while it does so. Terror attacks like - for example - Hamas' attempt to leave 100 kilograms (over 200 pounds) of explosives in a parked car outside the Lev HaMifratz mall in Haifa last Saturday night (pictured). Thankfully, that attack failed (Hat Tip: The Corner).
Had the terrorist plot gone according to plan, Saturday would have been a black day in the country's history. Hidden in the trunk of a stolen Subaru, parked near columns holding up part of Haifa's Lev Hamifratz mall, were 100 kg. of explosives. The explosives were packed into a number of bombs and mixed with ball bearings to make the blast even more deadly. The terrorists had hoped to detonate all 100 kg. simultaneously.

Nearby, blissfully unaware shoppers and moviegoers were exiting parked vehicles and entering the shopping center, located just north of the Checkpoint intersection.

A chilling scenario was sketched out by a police source on Sunday, who said the attackers could have been aiming to use their car bomb to set other parked vehicles on fire and trigger a chain reaction of exploding fuel tanks. "Had the car bomb exploded, the majority of the cars in the parking lot would have gone up in flames. The gasoline in them could have exploded. This would have been a major terrorist attack," the source said....

The recent spate of terrorist attacks, including Saturday night's averted attack in Haifa and last week's slaying of two traffic policemen in the Jordan Valley, seems an indication Hamas is concerned about paying too heavy a price for rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, and is trying now to stage attacks from the West Bank instead, government sources said on Sunday. "If Hamas now believes that it is not convenient for them to shoot rockets from the Gaza Strip, they might activate cells in the West Bank," the source said.
In fact, police said, had the attack been successful, the entire packed shopping mall (Saturday night is the biggest mall night of the week here) could have collapsed.

But if that's not enough 'incentive' for Hamas to reunite with Fatah, Cohen and Siegman have four more ideas:
The need for that incentive is reflected in the four core proposals of what the authors call “a last chance for a two-state Israel-Palestine agreement.” Taken together, they constitute the start of an essential rebalancing of America’s Bush-era Israel-can-do-no-wrong policy.

The first is clear U.S. endorsement of a two-state solution based on the lines of June 4, 1967, with minor, reciprocal, agreed land swaps where necessary. That means removing all West Bank settlements except in some heavily populated areas abutting Jerusalem — and, of course, halting the unacceptable ongoing construction of new ones.

The second is establishing Jerusalem as home to the Israeli and Palestinian capitals. Jewish neighborhoods would be under Israeli sovereignty and Arab neighborhoods under Palestinian sovereignty, with special arrangements for the Old City providing unimpeded access to holy sites for all communities.

The third is major financial compensation and resettlement assistance in a Palestinian state for refugees, coupled with some formal Israeli acknowledgment of responsibility for the problem, but no generalized right of return.

The fourth is the creation of an American-led, U.N.-mandated multinational force for a transitional period of up to 15 years leading to full Palestinian control of their security.
The first two 'incentives' would reflect a US initiative to pre-determine the results of the 'negotiations' (we can't expect the 'Palestinian' children to have the political maturity to actually wait for the negotiations' outcome, can we?). If that's the case, why bother negotiating? In fact, the 'Palestinians' don't want to negotiate. For years, they and their Arab brethren have sought to have the US impose a 'solution' (the Final Solution?) on Israel so that they can get what they want without accepting Israel's 'right to exist.' They would then move on the next phase and take the rest.

But the 'Palestinians' won't accept this deal either because they won't accept the third point. The third point would actually prevent them from resettling 'Palestinian refugees' in what is left of Israel. That is something that the 'Palestinians' cannot and will not accept no matter how many times Cohen and Siegman and their friends beg the 'Palestinians' to accept it.

As to the fourth 'incentive,' even if there were an agreement reached (and I believe that hell will freeze over first), I would not agree to having foreign troops be stationed between us and the 'Palestinians.' They would just be human shields for the 'Palestinian' terrorists.

Soccer Dad provides an interesting piece of background about Siegman:
Cohen cites Henry Siegman. Siegman's an interesting choice of expert given that he once wrote an article claiming that Hafiz Assad wanted to make peace with Israel and that by using Hezbollah to attack Israel, Assad showed his commitment to peace.
That's an interesting theory. Soccer Dad makes several other good points. Read the whole thing.


At 6:07 PM, Blogger R-MEW Editors said...

Shift the U.S. objective from ousting Hamas to modifying its behavior, offer it inducements that will enable its more moderate elements to prevail, and cease discouraging third parties from engaging with Hamas in ways that might clarify the movement’s view and test its behavior.

There are so many gaping oversights in just this one sentence from the "Bipartisan Statement", it would merit an "F" if it were handed in as a position paper by an undergraduate student.

Since Hamas came to power, the objective of the US and the Quartet has been precisely to modify the former’s behavior vis-a-vis Israel, i.e., recognize the state, honor prior agreements, and renounce violence. Hamas has consistenly and vehemently refused on all three counts.The question has often been asked but bears repeating: how can one party negotiate with another which refuses at a minimum to even recognize its opponent’s legitimacy? It’s a non-sequitur and a non-starter.

Secondly, Hamas apologists like to talk about “moderate elements” within the group. Where, pray tell, are these moderates? I have never heard a single name mentioned. Perhaps it is because if there were any Hamas moderates (an oxymoron if ever there was one), they would be lynched immediately by the – shall we say – “immoderates”.

“Clarify the movement’s view and test its behavior?” This is perhaps the most egregious example of willful blindness by Western apologists. What part of

Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.

does Paul Volcker fail to understand?

Cohen and Siegman are a sick joke.

At 9:03 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - Ehud Olmert was stupid but not evil. Roger Cohen and Henry Siegman are BOTH stupid and evil. They don't live in Israel, they don't serve in the army, they don't pay taxes there and its not their butts on the line if their "solutions" don't happen to work out. They should sit down and shut the hell up!

At 8:53 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


If you ask Dhimmi Carter, Ismail Haniyeh is a 'moderate.' That may be what Cohen and Siegman have in mind.


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