Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Why there is no two-state solution to be had

There was an excellent letter to the editor published in today's New York Times by Shlomo Avineri:
In his article “The changing face of Hamas” (Views, April 13) Paul McGeough mentions that for all the changes he saw in Hamas, its leader Khalid Mishal answered “No chance” when asked if his organization would consider changing its charter, which calls for Israel’s destruction.

What McGeough did not mention is that Hamas views all Jews, and not just Israel or Zionism, as its enemies. Its charter goes to some length (Article 22) to state its views on this. According to Hamas, the Jews (together with the Masons) were responsible for the French and Communist revolutions; they instigated World War I in order to destroy the Ottoman Caliphate; they instigated World War II in order to make money out of trade in war materials; they control world finance and the media; and they have established numerous secret organizations (like Rotary and B’nai B’rith) in order to achieve world domination.

Some of this is straight out of the anti-Semitic literature of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” and some of it — especially the references to the two World Wars — is the original contribution of Hamas ideologues. Compared to this, Austria’s Jörg Haider and France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen, or even the Ku Klux Klan, are moderates. If any organization in Europe or the U.S. used such language in its founding document, it would be viewed universally as beyond the pale.

Such views cannot be part of any political discourse, and these are the issues which have to be raised with Hamas leaders by anyone who cares for peace in the Middle East. It is regrettable that McGeough chose not to do it.

What the Israel-hating left -- the so-called "peace movement" -- often ignores is that the Palestinians don't want peace with Israel. They want to destroy Israel. Some of them want to murder all of the Jews. Others want to overwhelm the Jews by combining their populations and making the Jews a minority group in a larger Palestine which the Arabs would forever control. A minority of Palestinians -- include some of the moderates in Fatah -- do want a two-state solution. But there can be no peace, no two-state solution until the Palestinians unite around the idea of living in peace side-by-side with the Jewish state as a welcome neighbor. Until that happens, there will be endless war. The American and European "peace groups" love to blame Israel for this. But their blame is entirely misplaced. Israel is not perfect. But compared with the Arabs, the Jews are angels.

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