Part 2 of analysis
Recently, we have been hearing a demand to “bring Hamas into the political framework.” Unsurprisingly, we were told that Hamas is about to comply with Fatah’s request to join a Palestinian national unity government.
Even the West doesn’t believe that Hamas’ entry into political life would end its terrorist activity or change its platform at all. Even the West knows that Hamas has not changed its destructive ideology at all, and all these empty moves constitute tactical steps meant to create a better platform for Abbas in order to boost his public support, and mostly, in order to take over the funds earmarked for rebuilding the Gaza Strip.
If President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the international Quartet indeed desire a real peace process, they must refresh the framework of the negotiations so that the notion of “talks not at any price” would be no less important that falling in love with a futile process. Presenting conditions for talks would point to seriousness and practicality.
For that reason, when it comes to the main hardcore issue, the “right of return,” discussions on the subject must be undertaken at the start of the process, even before Israel makes the first concession. The West must remove the “return mask” from the Palestinians’ face and force them to compromise on this issue (something that has not happened to this day) as a pre-condition for any further moves.
Western representatives should also look into the implications of signing a future agreement with Abbas, as the West may be greatly embarrassed to discover that Abbas may leave to a safe house in exile hours after signing a peace treaty.
The West must also be honest with itself in respect to Hamas’ genuine intentions. The Palestinians taught us that not everyone who is interested in peace is able to also take the responsibility of implementing it. Meanwhile, Europe showed us how to postpone the addition of backward and unprepared states to the European Union, yet it forces us to accept such state as a partner for peace dialogue.
Elsewhere, the United States, which has failed in “taming Iraq” as result of a patronizing and anachronistic approach, is urging us to move quickly in order to fail similarly. And all of this is taking place under the guise of the “peace process.”
Colonel (res.) Moshe Elad served as the head of the security coordination mechanism with the Palestinian Authority in the Oslo Accord period. Today he is a lecturer at the Western Galilee Academic College