Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Hamas is Trying to Destroy the ‘Peace Process’

November 5, 2013 11:06 am 2 comments

An IDF soldier pictured in 2006 at a tunnel uncovered during an Israeli counter-terrorism operation designated to thwart weapons smuggling from Egypt to Gaza through the Philadelphia Route, in southern Gaza. Photo: Israeli Defense Forces.

The Palestinians have thrown a monkey wrench in the works again –  as they have a pattern of doing every time the “peace process” is supposed to be close to “solving” the problem.

Despite the secrecy surrounding the current U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry-sponsored talks, a Palestinianleak Sunday put positions on the table: a 1.9% land swap; no Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley and no Israeli presence at all in East Jerusalem; control over water sources and resources; control of the Dead Sea and border crossings; the right to sign agreements with other states (Iran?); release of all Palestinian prisoners; and the right of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to choose to live in Israel or the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinians know that all of these will be unacceptable to Israel. The process on the Palestinian side appears to be a fraud, designed to produce failure because the Palestinian Authority (PA) cannot afford a success with Israel in the absence of an agreement with Hamas.  The PA fears exposing the fact that it does not have functional control of the Gaza Strip and 1.66 million people it claims to represent. And not only does it NOT represent them, the government of Gaza – Hamas – explicitly rejects rule by the PA.

The minimal Palestinian position has always included the assumption that “Palestine” would consist of ALL the territories acquired by Israel in 1967; the West Bank AND Gaza Strip (the 1.9% swap would not change that). But while the UN may treat the Palestinian Authority and Abu Mazen as the political representative of Gaza (as the General Assembly did when it voted to treat “Palestine” as a State), it is not. Furthermore, the term of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas expired several years ago; as there have been no new elections, he does not have any legal authority to negotiate or make decisions on behalf of the the Palestinian Authority in the first place.  Further, as the loser in the brutal and bloody civil war of 2007, Abbas’s Fatah is non grata in Gaza, and Hamas officials have insisted they would not be bound by any agreement reached with Israel.

The question is how to deal with that.

Any actual “peace agreement” would expose Abbas as the naked Emperor in Gaza. Perhaps Fatah plans simply to ignore its geographic and political limitations. Perhaps Abbas assumes Israel will continue to defend itself from Hamas, and thus “Palestine” can complain about Israeli military activity without having to exercise sovereign control of its borders.  Perhaps it is banking on the talks failing; perhaps it is ensuring that the talks fail. At worst, the U.S. would be unhappy but not surprised; at best, Israel would be blamed.

The United States, for its part, has evidently been choosing to ignore open warfare by Hamas against Israel, and insisting instead that the “solution” to the Palestinian problem will be found between Ramallah and Jerusalem (or Tel Aviv, as the administration insists).  This view, if nothing else, explains a senior American official claiming to be “shocked” by the latest discovery of Hamas tunnels burrowed into Israel.

Why would the United States be shocked by the discovery of a mile-long tunnel 60 feet underground, running 1,500 feet into Israel, and complete with lights and a trolley track?  Did the U.S not think Hamas would find a military use for the concrete building slabs Israel was harangued into providing for “civilian” housing in Gaza by Western “humanitarian” organizations? Does the U.S. believe that Hamas only built tunnels to import cigarettes and cooking oil to offset the Israel-Egypt blockade? Surely the State Department knows that even at the height of the Hamas rocket war, Israel did not permit hunger in Gaza, and that the blockade by Israel off the coast of Gaza existed to protect itself against arms smuggling. The American government could not have thought Hamas had given up trying to capture the next Gilad Shalit for murder or mayhem; Hamas publicly announced its intention to kidnap more Israeli soldiers, and the number of attempts rose in 2013.  The ransom Israel paid for Shalit only made the next IDF soldier an even more tempting target.

Ignoring the war is foolish: it continues apace. In the past two weeks, aside from the tunnels (plural, a secondexplosives-laden tunnel was found less than a week after the first):

  • The IDF found a powerful bomb planted near the fence separating Gaza from southern Israel.
  • The latest Hamas cartoon on al Aqsa TV lauds the Izz Adin Al-Qasam Brigades. The hero tells worshipful children, “Thousands of young fighters are prepared to be martyred for the sake of Allah, until this land is liberated. The Al-Qassam army is well-organized, new young recruits join and weapons are developed… Al-Qassam is a powerful tenacious rival, whose men are heroes, educated in the mosques and possessing the spirit of Jihad… The courageous Al-Qassam Brigades are the knights defending the homeland.”
  • The IDF announced that Fatah uncovered a Hamas drone factory on the West Bank, intending to launch weaponized drones into Israel.
  • Israel’s Iron Dome intercepted one of two rockets launched from Gaza at Ashkelon (the other fell into the sea).

To believe Hamas attacks, and preparation for attacks, on Israel can be curtailed by the political process misunderstands the nature of the so-called “Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”

As an ideological matter, both Fatah and Hamas seek to reverse what they believe was an historic mistake by the United Nations in 1947 when it accepted Israel into the family of independent nations. Both continue to seek ways to hurt, harass, diminish, and delegitimize Israel, and both teach their children that the conflict will never end with a Jewish State of Israel living peacefully in the Middle East. Both Fatah and Hamas remain committed to “armed resistance,” although Abu Mazen uses diplomacy as well, promising to use the Palestinians’ new UN status to push for punitive measures against Israel.

As a practical matter, both sides of the bifurcated Palestinian government have sought to cultivate dependency and remove opportunities for legitimate Palestinian economic advancement. [Everything that follows in this paragraph and the next are the explanation: there was economic activity, then the intifada.] There was a time Gaza was open to Israel, and Palestinians crossed the border regularly to work.  There was an airport and a fully functional port. In mid-2000, 136,000 Palestinians were working inside Israel – 40% of all employed Palestinians. Another 5,000 worked in the joint Israeli/Arab run Erez Industrial Zone in the Gaza Strip. Thousands more worked in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in Israeli-owned businesses.

Yasser Arafat’s so-called “second intifada,” beginning in late 2000, killed more than 1,000 Israelis, and changed Israel’s focus from economic advancement and integration with the Palestinians into “security first.” The Erez Industrial Zone was closed after Israelis were murdered there, and the Disengagement of 2005 ended Israel’s employment of Gaza Palestinians and any residual Israeli influence. The civil war in 2007 ended any residual Fatah influence, while Hamas continues to make political inroads in the West Bank (how did that drone factory get there?).

The Gaza Strip can neither be incorporated into the “peace process” nor ignored. The culture of violence and hatred engendered by Hamas married to political success if Fatah achieves Palestinian independence would be dangerous for Israel.  The Hamas-Fatah rift that a Fatah-Israel deal would expose would be more dangerous for Fatah.  Watch for more wrenches in the works.

This article by Shoshana Bryen was originally published by Front Page Magazine.

2 Comments

  • Love to know when the United States, which would love to give Israel away, is going to return Texas and California to Mexico, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota back to the Indians to which it belonged, hell, while we’re at it, should Florida be returned as well?

    But then again, when is Israel going to get a set and say, sorry, the only lands currently in dispute is located in Gaza, Sinai and Jordan.

    The game plays much better when you become the aggressor. Ask the Americans, they’ve given up nothing, still sitting in Japan, Korea, Germany, Phillipines, Iraq, Pakistan, etc.

    • You have a point on US states being acquired by conquest – and we’re not the only country to do it. I don’t know where you’re from, but I suspect your borders were drawn as a result of warfare.
      Exception, however, to Japan, Korea, Philippines, Germany and even Iraq. We stayed in the first four with the open permission of their governments and Status of Forces Agreements – and without governing after a period of only a few years. All are independent countries. So much so that we didn’t stay when they changed their minds about our military presence. We left the Philippines when they wanted their bases back, remember? And we’re not in Iraq – much to our detriment and to that of the Syrian rebels – because they didn’t want us there.
      Today the Philippines wants us back to defend against Chinese encroachment, and Maliki came to beg for US military assistance which we probably shouldn’t give him at this point.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Blogs North American Studios Look to Israel for Next Animation Hit

    North American Studios Look to Israel for Next Animation Hit

    JNS.org – In 2008, Yoram Honig was a producer and director living in Jerusalem, fresh off his first international hit, when the Jerusalem Development Authority (JDA) came to him with a challenge: build a film industry from scratch in Israel’s capital. “When we started here, was nothing in Jerusalem,” he said during an interview in his office in the Talbiya neighborhood. Now, the Jerusalem Film and Television Fund, which Honig heads as an arm of the JDA, pumps 9 million shekels […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition

    Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition

    Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas will wear a leotard bearing Hebrew lettering when she competes at the P&G Gymnastics Championships over the weekend. Douglas’ Swarovski-outlined outfit will feature the Hebrew word “Elohim,” meaning God, on its left sleeve. The Hebrew detailing honors the athlete’s “rich heritage of faith,” according to apparel manufacturer GK Elite, which produced the leotard and released a preview of it on Wednesday. The company said Douglas’ sister, Joyelle “Joy” Douglas, created the Hebrew design. The outcome of the P&G Championships will help […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor

    British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor

    Britain’s world heavyweight champion, Taylor Fury, should be banned from boxing for making Nazi-like comments, a former world champion from the Ukraine said on Thursday, ahead of their upcoming match. “I was in shock at his statements about women, the gay community, and when he got to the Jewish people, he sounded like Hitler,” Wladimir Klitschko told British media, according to Reuters. “We cannot have a champion like that. Either he needs to be shut up or shut down in the ring, or […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Rabbi Shows Cooking Skills and Humor on Chopped

    Rabbi Shows Cooking Skills and Humor on Chopped

    Rabbi Hanoch Hecht just made television history; but, unfortunately, he couldn’t have his rugelach and eat it too. Hecht became the first rabbi to compete on the hit show “Chopped,” where contestants are forced to use four random ingredients in their recipes, and have 20-30 minutes to create an appetizer, a main course and a dessert. A contestant is eliminated after each round. Hecht, 32, said that while the dishes and utensils were new, the kitchen was not kosher, so he couldn’t taste […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Music Orthodox Entertainer Stars in Pepsi Max Commercial as New Face of Company’s Israel Campaign (VIDEO)

    Orthodox Entertainer Stars in Pepsi Max Commercial as New Face of Company’s Israel Campaign (VIDEO)

    Orthodox singer and entertainer Lipa Schmeltzer is starring in a new Pepsi Max commercial for the company’s campaign in Israel. The commercial begins with a bunch of Jewish men eating at a restaurant, when Schmeltzer walks in and tries to decide what to order. An employee at the obviously Israeli eatery offers him a variety of foods, but the entertainer in the end decides on a bottle of Pepsi. Everyone in the restaurant then joins him, drinking Pepsi Max and dancing to […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Book Reviews Jewish Author’s ‘Messy’ Draft Transforms Into Rock Star Novel on Amazon

    Jewish Author’s ‘Messy’ Draft Transforms Into Rock Star Novel on Amazon

    JNS.org – “Writing is a messy process,” says author Elizabeth Poliner. “People who don’t write fiction would be surprised to see what early drafts could look like.” But readers wouldn’t know “what a mess it was for the longest time,” as the Jewish author puts it, when reading Poliner’s critically acclaimed latest book, As Close to Us as Breathing. The volume garnered Amazon’s “Best Book” designation in March 2016 as well as rave reviews from the New York Times,W Magazine, NPR, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Sundance Tour Features Short Film About Elderly Jewish Woman’s Decision to Eat Bacon for First Time

    Sundance Tour Features Short Film About Elderly Jewish Woman’s Decision to Eat Bacon for First Time

    The Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour, which started on Friday in New York City, features a mini-documentary about an elderly Jewish woman whose journey away from Orthodoxy leads her to taste forbidden food for the first time in her life. In Canadian director Sol Friedman’s Bacon & God’s Wrath, Razie Brownstone talks about ending her lifelong observance of keeping kosher as her 90th birthday approaches. The recently declared atheist said the discovery of the search engine Google spurred a lapse in her Jewish faith and made her decide to […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Food Chabad Rabbi From New York Competes on Food Network’s ‘Chopped’ Cooking Competition

    Chabad Rabbi From New York Competes on Food Network’s ‘Chopped’ Cooking Competition

    A Chabad rabbi from Rhinebeck, NY, will face off a priest, a pastor and a nun-in-training in an upcoming episode of the Food Network‘s reality show, “Chopped,” Lubavitch.com reported. Rabbi Hanoch Hecht – who teaches up-and-coming chefs about the intricacies of kosher dietary laws at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) — was nominated for the show by a professional chef, and went through a rigorous interview process at the Food Network’s studios in Chelsea, NY. Months later, he was informed he had been accepted as a contestant in the popular TV cooking competition. “I thought […]

    Read more →