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Friday, December 04, 2009

Some people don't want peace

One of the presumptions underlying the 'peace process' is that everyone in the region wants peace. Cliff May points out that presumption is false.
It doesn't require Donald Trump to know that the art of the deal starts with an understanding of what each side wants. Yet for more than half a century, Western politicians and diplomats have built upon a mirage: the belief that because we see peace as a benefit, everyone in the Middle East must see it that way, too.

This assumption is most obviously false in regard to Hamas, which has ruled Gaza with an iron fist since Israel withdrew from that territory in 2005. Hamas' leaders have been candid: Their goal is the annihilation of Israel, an "infidel" nation occupying land Allah has endowed to the Muslims. A "two-state solution" or any other compromise is out of the question.

Of course, serious people do not envision Israeli-Hamas negotiations. It is rather talks between Israel and Abbas, who maintains tentative control of the West Bank, which President Barack Obama would like to get under way again.

But any agreement Abbas might strike with Israel, no matter how advantageous for average Palestinians, would be denounced by Hamas as an act of treachery and apostasy. Abbas' life would be in danger. If you were advising Abbas, what would you tell him? Probably, to do exactly what he is doing: Pocket any Israeli concessions the Americans can wring out of the Israelis while dismissing them as woefully insufficient; refuse to negotiate; but behind the scenes work with the Israelis on security -- not least your own -- and economic development. If nothing else, that may prevent Hamas from gaining additional ground.
And the 'Palestinians' are not the only ones who aren't interested in peace. May lists Saudi Arabia, Iran and Russia as other parties who have no interest in peace and then suggests that we try to achieve the only kind of peace that is achievable rather than pursuing a mirage.

Read the whole thing.


At 4:05 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

If only one side is interested in peace then peace really is a mirage. There is no "peace now" camp on the Palestinian and Arab side. The only people who seem incapable of appreciating the other side rejects negotiations and peace altogether are the Jews and no concession Israel makes will change that outlook.


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