Peace process, RIP

So Fatah and Hamas are merging, and will create a unity government for the Palestinian Arabs.

As I wrote yesterday, the differences between Fatah and Hamas fall in the realms of cosmetics and tactics:

  • Fatah, dedicated to the violent destruction of Israel no less than Hamas, is prepared to say pleasant things in English. Hamas is not.
  • Fatah is willing to take a state on as much territory as it can get, promise peace, and then move toward its objective, as spelled out in its ‘plan of phases‘. Hamas will only agree to a hudna (temporary truce) if Israel withdraws from all the territories. Then the war will continue.

Ultimately, although they are quite different in the kind of life they will offer the Arabs in their state — Hamas will enforce Islamic law — there is no difference for Israelis. They will be dead or dispersed if either gets its way.

Neither Hamas nor Fatah intend to engage in bilateral talks with Israel. Hamas spokesperson Mahmoud Zahar said yesterday that

Our program does not include negotiations with Israel or recognizing it … It will not be possible for the interim national government to participate or bet on [sic] or work on the peace process with Israel.

Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah/PLO made one of his typically ambiguous statements, which will be jumped on as a ray of hope by peace processors:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signaled on Thursday that peace talks with Israel would still be possible during the term of a new interim government formed as part of a unity deal with Hamas.

Abbas said the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which he heads and to which Hamas does not belong, would still be responsible for “handling politics, negotiations” …

In his comments, Abbas also addressed reactions by Israeli officials to the Hamas-Fatah unity deal, saying: “Netanyahu and Lieberman said yesterday that I had to choose between Israel and Hamas, but Hamas is part of the Palestinian people, and whether or not you like or agree with them, they are part of our nation and they cannot be extracted from us.”

But Abbas has refused to negotiate with Israel until now — for 10 months because the official freeze on construction in settlements did not include Jerusalem (although de facto it did), and after that because Israel refused to extend the freeze.  Do you think the presence of Hamas in his government will render him more likely to talk? I don’t. Anyway, he has his heart set on getting everything he wants from the UN without having to give up anything to Israel.

The ‘peace process’ which began with Oslo is now officially dead. May it rest in peace.

Pro-Israel US Congress members are saying that if a Palestinian Authority (PA) unity government that includes Hamas is set up, and if Hamas doesn’t agree to recognize Israel, accept prior commitments of the PA and renounce terrorism, then the US must, by law stop all assistance to the PA. The European Union (EU), also, has demanded that Hamas must meet the substantially equivalent ‘Quartet conditions’ (of course they manage to help Hamas in other ways).

I can’t imagine that this will happen. I expect that Hamas will say something, anything, that the Administration will be able to interpret as meeting its criteria for a civilized Palestinian government.

The last time Hamas was part of a unity government (2006), Fatah threw them out in response to international pressure  and then Hamas took over in Gaza by force of arms (2007). This time I don’t think there will be that kind of pressure. The world has begun to accept the murderous, racist Hamas. We can thank the international Left and the Turks for their flotillas, Israel for its failure to complete Operation Cast Lead, and the weakness of the Obama Administration for not allowing Israel to put real pressure on Hamas.

So what’s next? Nothing good. Here are the choices, as presented by ‘Joe Settler’ in the Muqata blog:

Scenario 1 is that by September the EU, the UN, and everyone else willfully ignores that Hamas is part of the PA government. They go to the UN. Everyone votes for the new terrorist state – the US certainly won’t be a party-pooper and veto it. And presto, instant state.

Scenario 2. This summer they launch a full out war against Israel with Hezbollah’s help. At some point they run to the UN and beg for a cease fire, and while they’re at it, declare this their war of independence, which the UN will recognize as such (you can bet they like this scenario better, because it includes a war).

In either scenario, they get a state and come October, Hamas takes over. But they don’t care. Phase 2 will have been achieved.

The PA isn’t interested anymore in maintaining the fiction of Peace, because they are solely working towards a unilateral declaration of a state and war with Israel.

Do you think his remark that they prefer war is an overstatement? The PLO charter, never revoked despite lies and obfuscation, includes this:

Article 9: Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine.

The Hamas Covenant includes this:

Article Thirteen: There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad.

I hope ‘Joe’ and I are wrong. But I don’t think so.

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2 Responses to “Peace process, RIP”

  1. Robman says:

    Except that Obama wants to be re-elected. He is party to this, he can kiss Jewish support good-bye…and lots of others. Support for Israel among the U.S. public is at a 20-year high. The Evangelicals will go nuts.

    But, let’s say Obama doesn’t care. And he might not.

    You and Joe Settler forgot to wargame out how this war actually turns out.

    You can’t have a state when you get blown to smithereens.

    I think when push comes to shove, Netanyahu will do just that.

    Why not? That is kind of the “good part” about Obama: With him in the White House, they Isaelis know right from the start that they’ve got nothing to lose in terms of U.S. support. They know they’re screwed that way from the very first shot no matter how the war turns out…so they might as well fight to win as quickly as possible!

    After the initial fight, with the PA in a physical shambles, of course the UN will impose sanctions, an embargo, whatever. Israel will have to ride out a tough period. But Israel is heavily involved with the world economy, and I suspect the sanctions will be mostly symbolic in nature.

    In any case, while there are few things that I am really sure of anymore, one thing I AM sure of is that Obama is NOT getting re-elected. As long as his replacement isn’t Ron Paul, better days are coming. His successor will repudiate the UN with respect to Israel. When the dust settles from all of this in two years time, Israel will be stronger and more secure than ever.

    Stout Hearts, everybody.

  2. Shalom Freedman says:

    It is difficult to put much stake in scenarios of what will happen in September and afterwards. Reality has a way of surprising even the best of prognosticators. As a persistent worrier all I can do is share some of my worries. I am worried about Egypt being drawn into hostilities against Israel. I am also concerned about the Assad regime’s possible effort to win back Arab legitimacy by engaging in the Hizbollah, Hamas, Iran war against Israel.
    I too worry about the U.S. primarily because there is no real Republican candidate yet with any degree of seriousness in regard to Foreign Policy. If there were such a candidate Obama would not be as dangerous as he is now. I agree with the idea that despite the slaps in the face from the Palestinians he could do a total cancellation of previous American policy and support a Fatah- Hamas state. It’s hard to believe that he would in fact do this, considering the ‘negatives’ from the point- of- view of American Presidents but he has been very poor until now in defending U.S. interests in the Middle East.