The two Palestinian rival factions, Fatah and Hamas, have announced that a reconciliation deal was reached in a secret meeting in Cairo. How will this affect Israel?
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
The famous quote of “two ships passing in the night” from the poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow speaks of two that meet for a brief albeit intense moment to never meet or see each other again.
I can’t help but think of this as the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) unravels. Now that the Fatah party leader and Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas has announced a reconciliation deal with the terrorist organization Hamas it would appear that any chance of the PA and Israel meeting again are nil.
"The Palestinian Authority must choose either peace with Israel or peace with Hamas. There is no possibility for peace with both. Hamas aspires to destroy Israel and fires rockets at our cities ... at our children. "
He went on to say,
"The idea of reconciliation with Hamas demonstrates the weakness of the Palestinian Authority and makes one wonder whether Hamas will seize control of Judea and Samaria the way it seized control of the Gaza Strip," added the premier, referring to the West Bank,
"I hope the Palestinian Authority will make the right choice and choose peace with Israel," said Netanyahu. "The choice is in the hands of the Palestinian Authority.”
In response to the Prime Minister’s statement, Palestinian Authority spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeneh replied that,
“Reconciliation is an internal Palestinian issue and not Israel's concern.”
That makes about as much sense as saying that the Mexican drug cartel deaths spilling over the US southern borders in no concern of the US. Consider the deaths and kidnappings along our southern borders and you might, on a much smaller scale, be able to begin to understand what Israel deals with day in and day out.
I was never one to believe that ‘peace’ could ever be achieved with those living in the West Bank or Gaza, as I wrote back in September,
Call me a pessimist, say I have no faith in the improbable, but I have a better chance of becoming the world’s first Jewish Pope before Israel and her Arab neighbors have peace.
But now with this Hamas/PA deal… I think that the spokesman for Netanyahu's own Likud party summed it up best when he stated,
"While Israel holds out a hand in peace, the Palestinian Authority holds out a hand of terror. The embrace with Hamas proves that the Palestinians are not aiming for peace."
As the Jerusalem Post reported,
Speaking to international media, President Shimon Peres on Thursday said that "We would like to see the Palestinian people unite, but unite for peace. What happened yesterday [the unity deal] is a path that will lead to a clear disagreement: One Palestinian camp will call for peace, the other will call for the destruction of Israel."
"Hamas isn't changing its charter, hasn't ceased to be a terrorist organization, serves Iran and smuggles weapons," Peres said.
The same article also quoted Defense Minister, former Prime Minister, Ehud Barak,
The defense minister also reiterated Israel's position that it would not hold any discussions with Hamas, "a murderous organization whose aim is to destroy Israel."
Even the Education Minister Gideon Saar, commented on the Hamas-Fatah unity deal,
"The treaty drawn between Fatah and Hamas shows that all the Palestinians, who previously had abandoned negotiations and planned unilateral actions against Israel, are distancing themselves from peace and getting closer to extremists and enemies of Israel."
I could fill an entire article just with statements and comments made by current and former Israeli politicians.
Israelis know what the rest of the world will not admit; Hamas targets women, children, school buses, ambulances and yes, Israel retaliates. But of course when Israel retaliates they use ‘surgical strikes’ and target the leaders of Hamas or their weapons locations.
Hamas hides behind its own civilians and uses them as human shields. When an innocent gets hurt or killed Hamas displays it for the world to see and screams about the use of “disproportionate force”.
Our current administration’s reaction to the Hamas/PA deal was no surprise, calling Hamas a "terrorist" group and saying any Palestinian government must renounce violence.
"We have seen the press reports and are seeking more information. As we have said before, the United States supports Palestinian reconciliation on terms which promote the cause of peace," the State Department said.
Harsh words. Since our tax payer dollars are still flowing to both Gaza and the West Bank in the form of ‘aid’, why not stop all money and let the PA know that under no circumstances will the US continue to support either area until the PA denounces Hamas and cuts all ties?
I wonder how quickly Palestinian Authority spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeneh would say that, “Reconciliation is an internal Palestinian issue and not America’s concern” if the millions of dollars stopped?
Perhaps the administration forgot that it was part of the Middle East Quartet? The Middle East Quartet which is comprised of the EU, the U.S., the UN and Russia, has demanded Hamas recognize Israel's right to exist and abolish the clause of its charter that calls for its destruction, cease terror activities against Israel and honor all agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinians.
Not to compound the problem, but we also have the issue of the possible vote in September for a Palestinian state by the UN which will undoubtedly demand Israel go back to the 1967 “green lines”.
I would like to remind the administration that in an address on September 10, 1968, following the 1967 six day war, President Lyndon B. Johnson stated,
"We [The United States] are not the ones to say where other nations should draw the lines between them that will assure each the greatest security."
"It is clear, however, that a return to the situation of June 4, 1967, will not bring peace. There must be secure and there must be recognized borders."
“Will not bring peace”, said Mr. President. I have to wonder how the world will react if and when the UN demands that Israel return to its 1967 borders and Israel tells them where they can stick that resolution.
What then, an attack on Israel from all its neighbors? Maybe even NATO would help out and have a “no fly zone” over Israel? I mean, we wouldn’t want “disproportionate force”.
Then there is the more frightening thought of a very real possibility that these two groups could create one government. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported,
Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman cautioned European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton Friday that the recent Hamas-Fatah reconciliation could lead to a repetition of history, with Hamas taking over the West Bank just as it overtook Gaza in 2007 after Israel disengaged from the strip.
As I explained in last week’s article with video to prove it, the takeover of Gaza by Hamas was achieved by Hamas killing the opposition as well as anyone they deemed a threat to their group. They not only shot Fatah members; they threw them off roof tops as well.
To add to this already lovely warm and fuzzy feeling, Egypt has stated that they intend to open the Rafah border between Gaza and Egypt. This would not only be a significant change in the policy on Gaza, which before the Egypt uprising was overseen by Israel, but is also a total violation of all agreements made in 2005 between the United States, Israel, Egypt, and the European Union, which gives the EU monitors access to the crossing.
This agreement was done to assure Israel that weapons and militants wouldn't get into Gaza after it pulled out from Gaza in the fall of 2005. The opening of the Rafah border will allow the free flow of people and goods in and out of Gaza without Israeli permission or supervision.
So much for agreements made with the US and Egypt. We have a different administration running the US now. That is the same administration that demanded that Hosni Mubarak step down, and now those in charge of Egypt are already calling Israel “the Enemy”.
Just 2 days ago Haaretz also reported,
Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces General Sami Anan warned Israel against interfering with Egypt's plan to open the Rafah border crossing with Gaza on a permanent basis, saying it was not a matter of Israel's concern, Army Radio reported on Saturday.
“Not a matter of Israel's concern”? There seems to be a lot of that going around. The article went on to explain that,
Egypt announced this week that it intended to permanently open the border crossing with Gaza within the next few days.
So Israel’s ally of 32 years not only is referring to her as “the enemy”, but now the General of the Egyptian Armed Forces is warning Israel against any interference when Egypt breaks their agreement.
Let’s not forget that the Egyptian Armed Forces is the current government since the ouster of Mubarak and will remain so until their election which is set to take place in September. Yes, what a coincidence the same time that the UN will be voting on a Palestinian State.
Saturday also saw some other news regarding the Egyptian elections. The Muslim Brotherhood said it will contest up to half the parliamentary seats in elections scheduled for September, according to reports,
In a statement issued after a meeting of its decision-making shura (consultative) council, the group said it had decided to contest "between 45 and 50 percent of parliament's seats".
During a news conference in Cairo, the Muslim Brotherhood announced its newly formed party, the "Freedom and Justice" party. If the name they chose were meant to be a joke, it would actually be funny.
Back in February when all the so called ‘experts’ as well as our Representatives and leaders from our administration were assuring us that there was absolutely no chance for a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt I stated,
The Muslim Brotherhood has been waiting for an opportunity like this for over 60 years and it is not something they are going to let slip by.
Maybe our administration should consider all this before they start backing the next rebel takeover of a Middle Eastern country, like that of Libya perhaps?
That’s not another explosion waiting to happen? I think that fuse was already lit when a NATO missile struck the house of Libya leader Muammar al-Qaddafi that killed his youngest son and three grandsons.
Whatever chance at peace there had been before the PA and Hamas reconciled, it is certainly even more of an impossible dream now. Israel and the Palestinian Authority, two ships passing in the night indeed.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow also penned the poem “The battle of Lovell’s pond”; I hope and pray that come September we don’t see that repeated,
The warriors that fought for their country, and bled,
Have sunk to their rest; the damp earth is their bed;
No stone tells the place where their ashes repose,
Nor points out the spot from the graves of their foes.
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