Vain Hopes and a Fool’s Fantasy – The Conspicuous Futility of Israel’s ‘Peace Process’

From the start of the so-called "Middle East Peace Process," beginning in Oslo back in 1993, Arab "partners" have sought to excise Israel from the map. For these Palestinians - Fatah, Hamas, it makes no real difference - the objective of every written agreement with "the Jews" has been unambiguous. From the beginning, and up to the present moment, all Palestinian factions have held one indelibly core idea in common: Every inch of Israel, in addition to all of West Bank (Judea/Samaria) and Gaza, is, irremediably and incontestably, an integral part of "Palestine."

By the end of April, 2011, Fatah, or the Palestinian Authority, and Hamas, completed a formal dtente, or agreement of reconciliation. At that time, Hamas leader Mahmoud Azhar duly noted the still-unchanged Islamic Resistance Movement platform: "No recognition of Israel, and no negotiation." This plainly refractory position also became the de jure and de facto position of Fatah.

For now, the very best case for Israel is manifestly intolerable. Here, Fatah would announce publicly that it is not bound by relentless Hamas' rejectionism, but would still proceed unilaterally toward full Palestinian statehood and corollary UN membership. In this connection, assorted official statements issued by spokesman for Palestinian President Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudena (that the newly-codified rapprochement between Palestinian factions represent only "internal Palestinian issues") have been prima facie disingenuous. Also significant is that the formal inter-faction agreement was signed in Cairo, where forces of the Muslim Brotherhood, the "parent" and active mentor of Hamas, are now preparing systematically to fill the post-Mubarak power vacuum in Egypt.

The more things change, the more they remain the same. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had sought to blunt the consequence of any eventual Palestinian state by making such sovereignty contingent upon Palestinian "demilitarization." Not unexpectedly, that strategy has already failed. Implementing a convenient and clever "end run" around bilateral diplomacy with their deferential nod for statehood to the United Nations, both Palestinian factions know full well that Netanyahu's demilitarization contingency is naive and toothless....

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