The PLO-Hamas Reconciliation

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the book Choosing Life in Israel. 


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Observations:

1. Having backed Islamists—even militarily in Libya—since the “Arab Spring” began a year ago, the U.S. and the major European powers should not be surprised to see the trend growing among the Palestinians as well. An openly Islamist PLO driving Palestinian crowds into violent clashes with Israel would test the limits of the Western blame-Israel mentality. The Europeans, with their large Muslim populations, dependence on Arab oil, and animus against Israel, would probably still “pass” the test. The Obama administration, facing elections, would have a harder time. But with Defense Secretary Panetta having bitterly blamed Israel just a few weeks ago for not getting along better with Islamist neighbors like Turkey and Egypt, it remains to be seen.

2. The Palestinian claim that only Israeli “settlement construction,” and refusal to precommit to the death-trap 1967 borders, prevents serious negotiations is still parroted by Western media and taken seriously by Western governments. By now this is nothing short of shameful. Israel, of course, negotiated peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, and a series of agreements with the Palestinians, without ceasing settlement construction or making such a suicidal commitment. The Palestinians, however, are still coasting on the Obama administration’s initial calls on Israel to stop all “settlement,” including in East Jerusalem and including for “natural growth,” and Obama’s demand last May that Israel return to those indefensible lines. It makes it easier for the Palestinian Authority to keep presenting itself as the aggrieved, rejected, peace-seeking party even as it forges deals with blatantly genocidal Hamas.

3. If the Fatah-Hamas (and Islamic Jihad) reconciliation goes through, it will be partly because the gap between them was never really so wide. Not only the Islamist groups but also Fatah perpetrated much of the terror of the Second Intifada. By the time Abbas became Palestinian Authority president in 2004, Israel was on the way to defeating the terror campaign. Abbas, therefore, tried different tacks—first negotiating with the weak and desperate, “we are tired of winning” prime minister Ehud Olmert, and, when finding that even he had red lines, trying a unilateral push for statehood at the UN. With that—for now—rebuffed, and with the “Arab Spring” roiling around him, it is not so hard for Abbas to turn to Hamas—even if it means eventually being swallowed up by it.

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  • Shalom Freedman

    This is excellent analysis but I would add a further question. What is Israel's response likely to be outbreaks of West Bank violence? At the back of this question is another question that of the total attack on Israel by Hamas, Hizbollah, Fatah, Iran, and perhaps most ominously even Egypt, and even worse Turkey? Is their some rapid devastating response Israel can make before the dominoes of violence against her throughout the Middle East fall upon us.

    • FriendofGaryCooper

      To answer your question, yes there is–Israel can strike Iran's budding nuclear capability, and disable it. But Netanyahu is perhaps playing for time, hoping somehow that sanctions against Iran's central bank will serve to make them abandon their nuclear program. Why else is Israel holding back? (Besides the fact that they don't want war and the massive casualties that will result.)

  • UCSPanther

    I wonder how long it will be before they go back to infighting amongst themselves. Fatah and Hamas always seemed to have friction between them even at the best of times.

  • WildJew

    Toameh wrote: "Once Hamas takes control over the PLO, it will seek to cancel all agreements and understandings reached between the organization and Israel, above all the 1993 Oslo Accords. Hamas also wants the PLO to withdraw its recognition of Israel…."

    This is good, is it not? Why should we pretend there is this on-going phony peace process, when there is no such thing? Netanyhu, by pretending there is a peace process, only invites further international, especially American, pressure on Israel to make concessions. Hamas jihadists are more honest and forthright than Fatah jihadists. Both are committed to Israel's obliteration. Honesty is better than deception.

    • aspacia

      Wildone,

      According to the Settler Media, Arutz, the US is stationing more troops in Israel because of Iran threatening Hormuz. This concerns me because RP will have a field day with this information, and Israel also allowed Rome in to mediate internal problems, and the country was decimated.

      • alan g

        There are no troops in Israel. There are marines on naval vessels in the region.

        • aspacia
          • WilliamJamesWard

            Interesting but I think as a Christian supporter of Israel and one who_sees Jerusalem as the eternal City of God I would do all I could to _help keep the evil out…………………………………………William

          • aspacia

            William JW,

            There are many important religious cities, and only recently has Jerusalem been returned to Jews. We both support Israel, but for different reasons. Our troops are there to protect the Strait.

    • WilliamJamesWard

      The so called peace process is a farce and makes a mockery of truth,
      it is time to stand up for truth and not live in a false and pretentious world.
      William

  • Brujo Blanco

    No country can trust terrorists. Terrorist groups do no trust each other. Obama is making a mistake reaching out to any terrorist organization.

  • Marty

    None of this is very new. The peace process has been dead for years and should remain that way. Its demise occurred when Israelis understood that the palestinian thugs disagreed only on how to best destroy Israel. In time, hamas and fatah will blame each other for the lack of progress in murdering Jews and resume killing one another. That is not a bad thing and should be encouraged by all those who wish to preserve the only enclave of democracy and progress in the Middle East.

    • PAthena

      I believe that the American Friends Service Committee invented the term "peace process," to substitute for "war." There is no such thing as a "peace process," only war with victory or negotiations.

  • Makaro

    Oba 1:18 And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it.
    Oba 1:19 And they of the south shall possess the mount of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead.

  • PAthena

    Those Arabs who destroyed the World Trade Center on 9/11, as well as the Pentagon, and were on United 93 which the patriotic passengers destroyed in Shanksville, PA, before it could crash into a building in Washington, D.C., came from Saudi Arabia. Yet one of President Obama's first acts as president, after he had returned the bust of Winston Churchill to Great Britain, was to bow before the King of Saudi Arabia.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    PLO, Hamas will become the dust of yesterday soon enough……………William

  • Fred Dawes

    Israel has 400 H-Bombs.