NY Times: Why Won’t Israel Find An Accommodation With Hamas?
The NY Times gives an opinion platform to Israeli writer David Grossman, a long time critic of Israel’s dealings with the Palestinians, and an apologist for the terrorist activities implemented against Israel. In American terms, he’s much like our far left Progressives, who seem to hate Israel, find fault with everything America, and find comfort in supporting America’s enemies.
Inside the bubble, who can fault Israelis for expecting their government to do everything it can to save children on the Nahal Oz kibbutz, or any of the other communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip, from a Hamas unit that might emerge from a hole in the ground? And what is the response to Gazans who say that the tunnels and rockets are their only remaining weapons against a powerful Israel? In this cruel and desperate bubble, both sides are right. They both obey the law of the bubble – the law of violence and war, revenge and hatred.
But the big question, as war rages on, is not about the horrors occurring every day inside the bubble, but rather it is this: How on earth can it be that we have been suffocating together inside this bubble for over a century? This question, for me, is the crux of the latest bloody cycle.
Since I cannot ask Hamas, nor do I purport to understand its way of thinking, I ask the leaders of my own country, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his predecessors: How could you have wasted the years since the last conflict without initiating dialogue, without even making the slightest gesture toward dialogue with Hamas, without attempting to change our explosive reality? Why, for these past few years, has Israel avoided judicious negotiations with the moderate and more conversable sectors of the Palestinian people – an act that could also have served to pressure Hamas? Why have you ignored, for 12 years, the Arab League initiative that could have enlisted moderate Arab states with the power to impose, perhaps, a compromise on Hamas? In other words: Why is it that Israeli governments have been incapable, for decades, of thinking outside the bubble?
So, at the end of the day, it’s pretty much Israel’s fault in Grossman’s world, which is the same opinion held by so many Leftists around the world. But, it is very easy to understand Hamas’ way of thinking: they want to kill Israeli civilians, kill Jews, and destroy Israel. It’s all printed in black and white by Hamas, just like with the other anti-Israel groups and nations. As far as negotiations with the “moderate” Palestinians, can he find some? These are the people who voted to put Hamas in governmental power.
If Grossman is referring to the Arab Peace Initiative, well, let’s not forget that the military wing of Hamas performed the Passover Massacre on March 27, 2002, the day before the Initiative was published. Hamas mostly rejects the plan, something Grossman forgot to include. He didn’t even need to ask Hamas directly to find out. Said Initiative pretty much has nothing for Israel, and everything for Palestinians, going back to the 1967 lines. If Israel gives away the kitchen sink, Arab nations “promise” to sign peace agreements with Israel. Yet, this same Arab League refuses to recognize Israel as a state as late as March 2014. If they cannot even offer recognition, how can their be peace?
Much of the rest of the article is about moral equivalency, which is truly false. If “Palestinians” and the Arab League want peace, the answer is simple: stop attacking Israel. No more rockets. No more suicide bombers. No more tunnels. Use the aid Gazans are given to help the citizens, not for weapons of war. Israel would like nothing more than to be left alone. The Arab League could make it clear that they will not support terrorist groups like Hamas, and stop supplying them with terrorist tools.
How is it possible to negotiate with people who refuse to acknowledge the right of Israel to exist? Arabs and Palestinians have, time and time again, scuttled peace deals, typically by demanding more and more of Israel. Israel has many times given in to those demands, only to see the Palestinians renege. If Grossman wants peace, perhaps he can go to the Palestinians, if he can even find any moderates, along with the Arab League, and ask them why they won’t recognize Israel’s right to exist.
Furthermore, why should Israel give an inch on opening their borders to Gaza when Hamas will simply use that to attack Israel? Egypt understands this, as their part of the Gaza border is pretty much shut tight, and they are a participant in the “blockade”. The Arab League Initiative goes heavy on Palestinian “right of return” while also wanting every. single. Jew. out of Gaza, the West Bank, and other areas, such as Eastern Jerusalem.
Israel is not without faults, just like with most nations. They have a right to defend themselves from terrorists. Terrorists which are now part of the popularly elected government in Gaza.