When trying to understand the difficulties Israel has in reaching a permanent peace with the Palestinians, one must take into account Hamas’ own intransigence vis-a-vis Israel and finding permanent solution to ending the conflict. Here is but a few of the many intransigent statements made by Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of the Palestinian Authority:
Refusal to recognize Israel’s existence
From an interview in the Saudi daily paper Aljazeera (2 April):
“As far as we’re concerned, the issue of recognition of Israel has been settled once and for all. It has been settled in our political literature, in our Islamic thought and in our Jihadist culture, on which we base our moves. Recognition of Israel is out of the question. We have been advocating the establishment of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital and the return of the refugees. In exchange for all that, we will declare a truce, but no recognition of Israel.”
On the day commemorating the Naqba, Haniyeh gave a speech in which he stressed, “We are concentrating on politics but have not abandoned our arms” (al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, 15 May).
These statements –and others– represent their (Hamas and its supporters) very clear goals, that see any recognition of Israel as being a deterement to their future aims, which is the destruction of Israel with an Islamist Palestinian state in its place. One of the requirements for future negotiations with Israel is the renouncing of the use of violence (terrorism), something the late Yasser Arafat agreed to on the lawn of the White House.
That Arafat was disingenuous about his overall intentions as he signed that agreement in front of the world’s leaders, does not excuse the Palestinians’ from their responsibility in fullfilling that agreement. As head of the Palestinian Authority, this also binds the Hamas to the same agreement as Fattah.
One has to ask him/herself about Hamas’ long term goals. If a negotiated settlement to the conflict is the chief aim for both sides — something that will end in a two state solution– why is it that the Hamas refuses to officially recognize the Israeli state that it must one day sit down with and negotiate a permenant/mutual solution?
If you can’t wrap your mind around that engima, then you must conclude that Israel has to wait until an eventual peace settlement can be negotiated with their “former enemies“, not with the present day one that seeks its destruction. *L* KGS