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The powers that be across the ocean need to have "peace" talks and to "resolve" the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at all costs, because of the problem with Iraq, and the problem with Iran. We are told that Arab states are anxious to reach a peaceful Israeli-Palestinian solution, so that they can support US policy and let the US deal with Iran for them. It doesn't occur to anyone that if Arabs want the US and Israel to take care of Iran, then they should be the ones to make concessions regarding Israel, and not the other way round.

To show "movement" toward peace, it is necessary, according to the conventional wisdom, to have a peace partner. Alas, the Palestinian Authority is controlled by the Hamas. The Hamas repeat day and night that they will abide by their charter, and never make peace with Israel. In return for Israel withdrawing to the borders of 1949, they will grant a Hudna like the one just concluded between Fatah and Hamas that lasted less than a day, or the other one concluded today. Common sense would dictate that as long as there are not two partners willing to make peace, there cannot be peace negotiations. Yet on the other hand, the powers that be, require such negotiations.

Writing from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, a metropolis famous for championing human rights and logic, John V. Whitbeck offers the solution

Those who recognize the critical importance of Israeli-Palestinian peace and truly seek a decent future for both peoples must recognize that the demand that Hamas recognize "Israel's right to exist" is unreasonable, immoral, and impossible to meet. Then, they must insist that this roadblock to peace be removed, the economic siege of the Palestinian territories be lifted, and the pursuit of peace with some measure of justice be resumed with the urgency it deserves.

Source: www. csmonitor.com/2007/0202/p09s02-coop.htm

That's right, Israel's right to exist is a roadblock to peace according to Whitbeck and the CSM. The article was of course timed to coincide with the meeting of the quartet.

Whitbeck arrives at his conclusion by a tortuous path of "reasoning" and euphemisms about Palestinian self-respect and the usual canards about Israeli expansionism (look at Israel on the map to see what expansionism we are talking about). He pours the best vintage Middle East establishment bumph that petrodollars can buy.

It is a grand performance in the best tradition, intended to make you lose sight of the basics. The reason the Hamas government is being boycotted by the West at present is that they announce that they are not willing to make peace with Israel. No matter how much wishful thinking is applied to the problem, the Hamas opposition to peace does not change, and is reiterated at every opportunity. Western aid to the Palestinian Authority was supposed to promote peace process, not Jihad.

It is important to go back to the sources, and see exactly what Mr. Whitbeck and the CSM are promoting. What is this peace-loving and self-respecting Palestinian Hamas movement? The Hamas charter states:

"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it."

"The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. "

Whitbeck is talking about a movement that advocates genocide and will not relinquish any part of the land. This is the movement that he wants to recognize. This is the movement that Christian Science Monitor wants to legitimize. Here is the Hamas peace plan, embodied in their charter, which Christian Science Monitor and Mr. Whitbeck want the West to adopt:

"There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."

And the following, also taken from the Hamas Charter, is probably the origin of Mr. Whitbeck's views, and those of his Arab hosts, about Israeli expansionism and Palestinian 'self-respect':

"After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying."

Mr. Whitbeck no doubt believes in the validity of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a document forged by the Tsarist police, which is sold all over the Arab world.

Incredible as it seems, what it amounts to, stripped of sophistry and cant about Zionist expansionism, is that Christian Science Monitor has come out in favor of genocide and Jihad. Israel's right to exist is therefore an obstacle to "peace."

The enthusiasm of CSM and of Whitbeck's Saudi masters for making a deal with the Hamas is really strange if the purpose is really to allow action against Iran, since Iran is actively supporting the Hamas.

The real danger to Israeli interests and the interests of peace in the Middle East has never been from the fringe radical leftists and extreme reactionaries like Rabbi David Weiss of the Netureh Karteh, who make so much noise, and who are characterized by the New York Times as "Liberals". They attract a lot of attention from worriers over the "new anti-semitism," but they have no political clout in the United States.

With the virtual collapse of US policy in Iraq looming ahead, the neo-conservative pro-Israel line that was popular in Washington is in jeopardy. The replacement for the neo-conservative strategy may well be a "rescue" operation by the "old hands" of the State Department and stalwarts of Republican Middle East policy. These are people like James Baker III and the representatives of Arab petroleum interests, the pillars of conservativism and "realistic" approaches to the Middle East.

This group have always had the same line: U.S. backing of Israel jeopardizes American interests in the Middle East. Interestingly, declassified materials reveal that on the eve of the Six Day war in 1967, this line was pushed by the Aramco company and by US Ambassador to Syria, Hugh Smythe. Smythe claimed to represent the considered opinions of the US diplomatic corps. They urged the US to abandon Israel, as they always do. Whitbeck's article no doubt represents the public expression of a campaign that is going on behind the scenes. The same line is apparent in Arab world journals. When it appears in the US, it could be an alarming harbinger of what is coming.

From my perspective, relating not only to my self-respect as an Israeli, but also to my physical integrity, it appears that Mr. Whitbeck and the Christian Science Monitor are much worse than an obstacle to peace. They are hazardous to my health, and the health of my loved ones. They are hazardous to the decency and self-respect of the Western nations. And remember, when they are done making "peace" by eliminating my right to exist, you may be next.

Ami Isseroff

Updates and comments - Since I wrote the above, the Middle East Quartet (sounds like a Jazz group) met, and announced the continuation of sanctions against the Hamas. That is what articles like Whitbeck's are really about. Zvi Bar'el in Ha'aretz explains the Arab position, which is that Hamas is a fact of life that has to be dealt with, and the best way to deal with them is to get them to accept the Arab peace plan, which includes recognition of Israel. The only fly in the ointment is that Hamas refuses to agree. However, only pedants worry about such details.

At least one person took me to task (by e-mail) for taking Whitbeck literally, but Whitbeck must be taken literally. He tries to make it seem as though "recognizing Israel's right to exist" is just a slogan -- some sort of Zionist plot cooked up by Henry Kissinger. But the fact is, that recognizing Hamas is tantamount to giving the go ahead for the liquidation of Israel. The position was put quite eloquently by Peter H., who commented at http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000343.html:

How exactly does Meshal's interview contradict what Whitbeck wrote? Actually, it seems like Meehal and Whitbeck are saying the same thing: that Israel's existence is a fact of life, but that Hamas cannot recognize the morality of its creation, since that would be tantamount to morally justifying the dispossesion of Palestinians.

That was my point. There is no contradiction. Both Meshal and Whitbeck, along with racist advocate of genocide and ethnic cleansing Peter H., want to destroy Israel. Except for the fact that the "dispossesion of the Palestinians" was not the result of the creation of Israel, Peter has it right. Whitbeck and Meshal are saying the same thing. It is like saying that the Czech republic has to be wiped out, because recognizing it would be tantamount to recongizing the morality of "dispossesion" of World War II Nazi sympathizers from the Sudetensland.


Original content is Copyright by the author 2007. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000343.html where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to ZNN-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.

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Replies: 5 Comments

Give the Palestinians a normal life, with a viable, sovereign Palestinian state established in all of the West Bank & Gaza (with mutual, reciprocal & territorial swaps), and the conditions that fuel Palestinian violence and radicalism will dissipate.

[...]

Peter H, Saturday, February 3rd

Nobody can "give" the Palestinians a viable sovereign state when they themselves have continually rejected such a state of being opting for violence rather than negotiated political solutions.

The "intolerable restrictions" and the separation barrier were not pre-emptive measures. They were the result of decades of unceasing attacks on Israel.

Lynne T, Thursday, February 15th


What is this concept Hudna that should not be belittled?
As far as I understand it, it is a ceasefire not a peace treaty. Yet Hamas that proposes this Hudna, reserves itself the right to end it when it wishes.
To date Hamas as government has yet to deliver Hudna, because it is not an effective government.
Nevertheless why on earth should Israel acquiesce to this Hudna, which would provide Hamas the opportunity to enhance its military position, when Israel is militarily dominant? It is entirely irrational to do so.
If Hamas fundamentally remains committed to its genocidal policies and it has the support of the Palestinian people, then I suggest that the logical and morally acceptable strategy for Israel is to seek to destroy the Palestinian peoples present and future capacity to prosecute genocide.
I am not actually proposing genocide, but I do wish to highlight the ease in which liberal westerners seem to indulge the fascistic fantasies of some elements while condemning others.
It is as well to remember that the Palestinians have only one bargaining counter, that being PEACE. The Israelis have an awful lot more to offer in return.
Watching the Palestinians is like watching a person who has managed to get a phenomenal bargain for a cent coin, but who cannot get beyond their fundamental belief that they must be being cheated.

R Davies, Monday, February 5th


Peter,
Hamas hasnít stopped the suicide bombings, the IDF simply foiled most of them Ė so far.
Is Israel not defining its borders an excuse for hamas genocidal agenda?
We are not defining our borders because we are waiting for the final status negotiations. Only the peace process will decide that, that is what peace processes do, among other thing.
If Hamas recognize Israelís RIGHT to exist, and the RIGHT of Jews for life and liberty, and stop murdering our civilians, Israel will stop its military operations on the WB and Gaza (there will be no need for them). And peace negotiations will start, with the eviction of settlements on its agenda. Which will happen once an agreement is reached.
Recognizing someoneís right for life and liberty shouldnít be subject to any conditions, I acknowledge the right of the Palestinians to life and liberty, hence the right of a Palestinian state to exist.
Khaled Hroub article, in the link you gave, promises no moderation in Hamas views. It is not clear what that reinvention is, and there are no examples of it in the article itself. No who holds what, no speeches, decisions by Hamas, or anything else that will demonstrate this supposed change. This promised change is a hoax.

Dvar Dea, Saturday, February 3rd


You keep belitting the idea of a hudna. Yes, it's true that Qassams keep raining down on Israel. But the current enviroment - the collapse of the Palestinian Authority, the fraticidal warfare between Fatah & Hamas, the humanitarian crisis, Israeli incursions into the West Bank, not to mention the overall repression that Palestinians suffer - is not conducive to a sustained ceaesfire. Give the Palestinians a normal life, with a viable, sovereign Palestinian state established in all of the West Bank & Gaza (with mutual, reciprocal & territorial swaps), and the conditions that fuel Palestinian violence and radicalism will dissipate.

It's in nobody's interst to see the West Bank & Gaza continue to degenerate into Somalia. Nor is it anybody's interest to see Hamas ousted from power and resume its suicide attacks.

http://www.opendemocracy.net/conflict-middle_east_politics/hamas_3982.jsp

Peter H, Saturday, February 3rd


How exactly does Meshal's interview contradict what Whitbeck wrote? Actually, it seems like Meehal and Whitbeck are saying the same thing: that Israel's existence is a fact of life, but that Hamas cannot recognize the morality of its creation, since that would be tantamount to morally justifying the dispossesion of Palestinians.

Personally, I believe that Hamas should spell out the conditions under which it would recognize Israel, as the 2002 Arab League Plan does. On the other hand, if Hamas were to recognize Israel, even unconditionally, what would Palestinians get out of it? It might get foreign aid restored, but there would still be a separation barrier built deep into Palestinian territory, settlements all over the West Bank and East Jerusalem, intolerable restrictions on Palestinian movement, and continued Israeli control over Gaza's airspace, water, & borders.

Peter H, Saturday, February 3rd


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