Saturday, December 01, 2007

No Place

I'm always torn about negotiating with Hamas. On the one hand, it wouldn't be a negotiation if they weren't on the other side. You got to deal with the people in front of you. If the Palestinians were represented by a group that was friendly and positive towards the Israelis and the Jews, then we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place.

On the other hand, it's difficult to negotiate with someone who doesn't think your state's existence is legitimate in the first place:
To mark sixty years since the United Nations plan for the partition of Palestine, Palestinian militant Islamic movement Hamas called Thursday for the UN to rescind the decision which led to the establishment of the State Israel, Army Radio reported.

"It is not shameful to correct a mistake. Palestine is Arab-Islamic land from the river to the sea, including Jerusalem, and Jews have no place there," the radio quoted a Hamas statement as saying.

Interesting phrasing. Jews have no place there. I'll keep that in mind.

In the same article, right-wing Israeli cabinet member Avignor Lieberman renewed his call for a land-swap to create a two-state solution. Lieberman still advocates a "transfer" of Israeli-Arab citizens (whether all, or just the one's near the border whose towns could easily be included in a land-swap, is unclear), which is pretty loathsome in its own right. But at least he concedes that there has to be a Palestinian state in the area -- that they do have a "place" between the Jordan and the Mediterranean.


PG said...

I'm glad that you highlighted that about Hamas's position regarding Israel: they are not only opposed to Zionism (i.e. to having a specifically Jewish state), but much more extremely, they are opposed to having Jews live in that area at all. The former could be called a reasonable political difference, whereas the latter verges on precisely the attitude of intolerance to the very existence of Jews that made Israel seem to the UN to be a historical necessity in the first place.

Anonymous said...

It's also difficult to negotiate with someone who has no intention of negotiating in good faith. When have the Palestinians ever met their obligations as defined by negotiations?