Israel News | Zionism Israel Center | Zionism History | Zionism Definitions | ZioNation | Forum | Zionism FAQ | Maps| Edit

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hamas must be brought to book for havoc they have sown

Hamas must be brought to book for havoc they have sown


Mon, Feb 09, 2009

OPINION:Israelis are fed up with the Palestinians' inability to take Yes for an answer, writes EDWIN BENNATAN.

THE RENOWNED physicist Wolfgang Pauli, who was known for his colourful objections to incorrect or sloppy thinking, was once asked for his opinion of a paper written by a young student. "This is not right," declared Pauli. "It's not even wrong."

Some arguments are so blatantly flawed that they do not even deserve being called wrong. Such is Lara Marlowe's simplistic view of the Israel-Palestinian conflict (Opinion and Analysis, February 3rd) in which she proposes that the US and the EU impose a solution on the two sides. "The UN should flood the Gaza Strip with blue helmets," she suggests, "who would prevent Hamas firing rockets."

She continues: "The most maddening thing about the conflict is that there is such an obvious solution, as there was in Northern Ireland."

First, the Middle East is not Northern Ireland. Cambridge historians John Bew and Martyn Frampton have stated in a recent report that although it has become "fashionable to look to the lessons of the peace process in Northern Ireland as holding insights for other areas of conflict, simplistic comparisons may be unhelpful".

While the aims of the IRA posed no "existential threat" to the British, they argue, "the objectives of Hamas require the destruction of the state of Israel". The researchers also maintain that while the IRA's political goals were local, Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, is part of a global Islamist movement.

Second, Israel has already experienced the impotence of UN forces when, in 1967, UN peacekeepers were swiftly removed from the Egypt-Israel border in response to the first demand from Egypt's president Gamal Abdul Nasser, who then proceeded to mass his army on the border, which led to the Six Day War. Israel has no reason to believe that the UN would act differently today.

And as for the notion that the US and the EU should impose a solution to the conflict, Marlowe seems to have a mental picture of two brawling children whose parents need to send them off to bed with no supper until they learn to behave.

Israel is not the 30th or 20th strongest force in the world; it is one of the most powerful forces (which it needed to become to survive in a tough neighbourhood), and it will never accept an imposed arrangement that it believes would imperil its very existence. Israel is not facing just Hamas, or even just the Palestinians. The situation in the Middle East is more complex than that.

As Bew and Frampton have noted, Israel is facing a global Islamist movement in which Iran plays a leading role, and which also includes Hizbullah and the Muslim Brotherhood who are fighting to overthrow the relatively moderate pro-western governments in Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. Marlowe needs to understand this before she offers her simplistic proposals.

Marlowe is also apparently unaware that the Palestinians have been offered a two-state solution, which they have repeatedly rejected. As far back as 1947, the Palestinians rejected UN Resolution 181 on the partitioning of British Mandate Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab (the Jews of Palestine accepted the UN partition plan).

More recently, the Palestinians rejected US president Bill Clinton's proposal in 2000 at Camp David for a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which included the removal of Jewish settlements. Amin al-Mahdy reported in the Arabic daily newspaper Al-Hayathow Yasser Arafat, in an interview two years later, lamented his mistake in rejecting the peace offer.

Al-Mahdy wrote: "Arafat has admitted his mistake in refusing Clinton's proposals. But what he should have explained was why he refused, why it was wrong, and why it took him two years to realise it. Now the situation has deteriorated to a degree that goes beyond the mistake of rejecting the Clinton peace plan. That rejection was part of a tragic cycle of mistakes that involved resorting to violence and a direct alliance with the Islamic political groups before the negotiations.

"This tragic cycle of mistakes overthrew the idea of peaceful negotiations and did a lot to bring down the Israeli left and the peace movement."

Six years after the Palestinians rejected Clinton's proposals the Israeli peace camp regained its ground and returned to power in the 2006 elections. Peace negotiations with the Palestinians resumed, and additional details of the peace deal were ironed out (Palestinian control of Arab east Jerusalem, compensation for Palestinian refugees, and land swaps of territory in Israel proper in exchange for 4 per cent of the West Bank adjacent to the Israel border).

But again the Palestinian leadership rejected the deal that their negotiating team had worked out with the Israelis, and which offered them virtually everything they had been demanding (other than the destruction of Israel).

The latest barrages of cross-border rockets from Gaza into southern Israel, and the war that followed, have all but ended the current attempts at peace. To be blunt, the Israeli public is fed up with the Palestinians' inability to take Yes for an answer, and is expected once again to shift to the right at tomorrow's elections.

With a right-wing government led by Benjamin Netanyahu, it is highly unlikely that the current peace deal will remain on the table or that meaningful negotiations will be resumed anytime soon.

So where does this leave Lara Marlowe's analysis? She is clearly unaware of the history of this long and sad conflict, and seems to be preoccupied with baseless rumours and innuendos that serve no useful purpose.

But Egypt's president Hosni Mubarak got it right a few days ago in his address in honour of Egypt's national police force day. It is the responsibility of the Palestinian people, he said, to settle the score with Hamas for the pain and the destruction it has caused them.

If the Palestinians took Mubarak's advice that would be a welcome step towards peace.

© 2009 The Irish Times

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe to
email newsletter for this site and others

Powered by

Feedblitz subcription
To this Blog only

You can receive our articles by e-mail. For a free subscription, please enter your e-mail address:

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Web Logs & Sites

This Site

Zionism & Israel
Zionation Web Log
IMO Web Log (Dutch)

ZI Group
Zionism-Israel Pages
Israël-Palestina.Info (Dutch & English)
Israël in de Media
MidEastWeb Middle East News and Views
MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log

Brave Zionism
Israel: Like this, as if
Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog

Friends and Partners
EinNews Israel
Israel Facts
Israel Proud Adam Holland
Middle East Analysis
Irene Lancaster's Diary
Middle East Analysis
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israel Facts (NL)
Cynthia's Israel Adventure
Jeff Weintraub Commentaries and controversies
Meretz USA Weblog
Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers
Simply Jews
Fresno Zionism
Anti-Racist Blog
Sharona's Week
Z-Word Blog
Jewish State
Take A Pen - Israel Advocacy
Zionism on the Web
ZOTW's Zionism and Israel News
Zionism On The Web News
ZOTW's Blogs
Christian Attitudes
Dr Ginosar Recalls
Questions: Zionism anti-Zionism Israel & Palestine
Southern Wolf
Peace With Realism
Sanda's Place
Liberal for Israel
Realistic Dove
Blue Truth
Point of no Return
Christians Standing With Israel
Christians Standing With Israel - Blog

Encylopedic Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
Middle East Encyclopedia
Zionism and its Impact
Zionism & the creation of Israel
Zionism - Issues & answers
Maps of Israel
Christian Zionism Resources
Christian Zionism
Albert Einstein
Gaza & the Qassam Victims of Sderot
Zionist Quotes
Six Day War
Jew Hatred
Learn Hebrew
Arab-Israeli Conflict
International Zionism

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Israel Boycott
Boycott Israel?
Amnesty International Report on Gaza War
Boycott Israel?
Dutch Newspaper Reporting: A Study of NRC Handelsblad
Hamas (Dutch)
Dries van Agt (Dutch)
Isfake lobby

At Zionism On the Web
Articles on Zionism
Anti-Zionism Information Center
Academic boycott of Israel Resource Center
The anti-Israel Hackers
Antisemitism Information Center
Zionism Israel and Apartheid
Middle East, Peace and War
The Palestine state
ZOTW Expert Search
ZOTW Forum

Judaica & Israel Gifts
Jewish Gifts: Judaica:
Ahava Products

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

RSS V 1.0

International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory