As stated, the US plan to ‘solve’ the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by forcing the creation of a Palestinian state run by Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction is absurd.
It’s not possible for Israel to make peace with the Palestinians by making peace with Fatah, since about 36% of the ‘Palestinians’ live under Hamas in Gaza.
The ‘two-state solution’ envisions a peaceful Palestinian state alongside Israel; a state with an economy that can ultimately provide for its citizens. It is for this that international donors just pledged $7.4 billion.
It is hard enough to imagine a Palestinian leadership which will break with the tradition of using aid to enrich itself and to finance war against Israel, and actually try to develop a functioning nation. But it is impossible to imagine that this nation can be made of just the West Bank.
If there is going to be a Palestinian state, it has to include both the West Bank and Gaza. And that means that something has to change with regard to Hamas, which has the allegiance of a large number of Palestinians and indeed won a democratic election.
Either Hamas has to disappear, which is impossible, or it must join with other factions in creating some kind of unified Palestinian entity. And in fact, this is what Egypt and Saudi Arabia are trying to make happen.
This week, Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal met with top Saudi officials and updated them on the latest efforts to end the rift between the two largest Palestinian political movements.
According to Hamas officials in Gaza, Meshaal presented to the Saudi leadership “a comprehensive package of proposals” that would rectify the current state of division. The proposals include a willingness on Hamas’s part to hand over “security headquarters” and “a number of civilian ministries” in the Gaza Strip to Fatah, which would be followed by the creation of a national unity government based on the Saudi-mediated Mecca Accord as well as the National Reconciliation Document.
Meshaal reportedly asked the Saudi leadership to exert pressure on Fatah’s leadership, especially Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas, who visited Riyadh last week and briefed Saudi King Abdullah on developments pertaining to the Annapolis conference.
Similarly, Egypt has asked both Hamas and Fatah to dispatch delegations to Cairo after the Eid Al-Adha holiday — which comes 18 December — in an effort to end the inter- Palestinian schism. It is not certain if Egyptian and Saudi efforts are being coordinated. — Al-Ahrahm [Cairo]
Meanwhile, the US is rapidly pushing Israel into giving up security, land and sovereignty to the Fatah faction, while arming them (to “fight terrorism”, of course). But the Fatah leadership has as yet shown no desire or ability to control their own al-Aqsa Brigade terrorists; what will they do joined with Hamas (or as a junior partner)?
Is seems as though the US wants to see Israel reduced to pre-1967 borders and surrounded by aggressive terrorist enclaves or hostile powers to the North, East, and Southwest.
If the goal were long-term stability in the region, one would think that the way to attain this would involve weakening the elements that plan war and support terrorism. Yet we are rewarding them, and even encouraging the tactic of terrorism by preventing Israel from responding severely (e.g., in Gaza) while demanding security concessions. And we are weakening Israel which does have an interest in coexistence.
I’m afraid that all the talk from the US about the peaceful Palestinian state alongside Israel is just an attempt to defuse opposition from Israel supporters. So what are we trying to do?
My assessment is that US policymakers believe that they can appease the anti-Israel ‘activists’ (Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia) among the Arabs for as long as it takes to escape from Iraq without going quite far enough to allow Israel to be destroyed. Once this is accomplished, the Palestinians will be left to their street-gang politics.
Note that nobody — particularly not Iran or the Arab nations and not the US — gives a fig about the Palestinians as anything other than a tool to accomplish their own ends. I can pretty much guarantee that no matter how this turns out for Israel, things will continue to be bad for most Palestinians.