It should be noted that this piece was originally published as an Editorial for The Jewish Voice NY.
On April 23rd, 2014 Mahmoud Abbas announced that Fatah and Hamas would be forming a unity pact in order to create a joint government within the Palestinian Authority (PA). The two organizations have made more than one other so called unity pacts in the past, but all of these pacts have lead to no peace between the two factions. But why did they decide to negotiate during Obama’s Middle East peace attempt? Why did Abbas, after getting unheard of concessions from Israel, like releasing Palestinian prisoners, basically treat the negotiations as a joke? This would seemingly be because Mahmoud Abbas was never serious about making peace.
Let us look at what Hamas is: Hamas is a recognized terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, Canada, and even some Muslim Countries. They have launched thousands of rockets at Israeli civilian population centers. Their intended purpose of their terrorist activities, as stated by their charter, is to destroy Israel, and calls on fellow Muslims to kill Jews. Their tactics also include setting up rocket launchers and missile caches in civilian areas, including civilian homes, hospitals and schools. Hamas does this intentionally in order to be able to use these people and facilities as human shields in order to gain public sympathy when Israel could no longer hold back from taking out the weapons.
Abbas has seemingly taken a play out of Hamas’s playbook. He knows that Israel will most likely take the blame for any issue that arises and stops or places the continuation of the talks in jeopardy. According to a recent statement made by Secretary of State John Kerry, Israel will risk becoming an apartheid state if they do not finalize a solution to the conflict via the two-state solution. However, it seems to me that this situation in talks is similar to the pre-WWII appeasement attempts that the English and French tried to reach with Hitler in order to avoid real war. England and France were trying to reach a peace agreement with Hitler, a man who’s lips said peace but his actions said war. The last straw was when Germany and Russia coordinated their invasion and conquering of Poland. Then, England and France declared war. What will it take for the world to see that these peace talks that the US is forcing Israel to conduct with the PA will never be successful? We are not dealing with a leader who represents the actual interests of the people they are representing. We are dealing with Abbas, a bigot who seems to have Obama wrapped around his little finger.
So, is there a possible solution? First of, we would have to do what Clinton instituted with his attempt at peace at Camp David in 2000. He instituted that the talks were closed to the public. Secondly, the two negotiating sides must be at the negotiating table without any preconditions.Thirdly, the parties must actually represent the actual interests of their people. This would involve dismantling the Hamas-Fatah peace accord and doing a huge remodeling of the PA and removing people who are un- trustworthy in running the PA, like Abbas.