Key supporters of a two-state solution, including the Obama administration, see a potential silver lining in Hamas’ Gaza debacle. Hamas’ defeat could pave the way for a quick deal between Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority and Israel.
Their argument is twofold:
First: Hamas’ gambit has brought nothing but suffering and devastation for the residents of Gaza. People there must surely have buyers’ remorse for voting the terrorist group into power in the first place, paving the way for the Palestinian Authority (PA) to reassert its control.
Second: Israel needs a deal. With the Jewish state’s borders from the Golan Heights to the Sinai increasingly threatened by ISIS and other Al Qaeda-types, Israelis should rush to tie the knot with moderate Abbas now, since no one knows what kind of leader tomorrow will bring.
Frankly, this may be little more than wishful thinking. For starters, most Palestinians no longer trust the corruption-riddled PA to deliver. However much they may be angry with Khaled Mashaal for using their families as human shields, Gazans are not rushing to risk the wrath of Hamas unless the PA will actually help rebuild 5,000 destroyed houses in the Gaza Strip.
Indeed, the latest polls indicate that Hamas has actually gained support, at least in the short term, for “standing up to the enemy.”
But even assuming Abbas has a mandate, he has a strange way of signaling to Israelis that he wants peace.
-- Despite the murders of three Israeli teens, despite thousands of rockets and missiles hurled at Israeli cities, despite the superhighway of terror tunnels, Hamas remains a partner in Abbas’ unity government. The U.S. continues to back this partnership. No Israeli leader can make a deal with Hamas as a co-signer.
-- Abbas has signaled to the Israelis that they must agree at the start of talks to withdraw to the indefensible 1967 border, or he will go to the International Criminal Court to seek indictments for war crimes against Israeli leaders and soldiers.
-- While Abbas did not support Hamas’ actions, a study by the respected Palestinian Media Watch details a barrage of hate unleashed by the PA and its affiliate, Fatah.
In criticizing Israel’s Gaza operations, op-eds and speeches declared their Jewish neighbors were worse than Nazis. The memory of the Shoah is desecrated, its imagery co-opted to demonize the offspring of 6 million Holocaust victims.
Here are a few examples:
“[Israel] did more evil and more horrifying things than what happened in the Nazi crematoria”
-- Former PA Minister of Prisoners Issa Karake , Ma’an, July 25, 2014
“The insane Israeli war… is reenacting the Holocaust against the Arab Palestinian people.
-- Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, former adviser, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 21, 2014
“Children have become the fuel for Israel’s Holocaust and war against Gaza.”
-- Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 15, 2014
"[Israel is committing a] mass extermination as the Nazis did in Europe in the 1940s.”
-- Fatah Deputy General, Central Committee Jibril Rajoub Awdah, independent Palestinian TV channel, July 14, 2014
“[Gazans are] undergoing the Holocaust of the 21st century by the barbaric occupation, which takes pride in murdering children.”
--District Governor of Ramallah Laila Ghannam, Ma’an, July 31, 2014
“Israel has murdered over two million Palestinian children …
Jewish children murdered in the Nazi Holocaust …did not exceed a million and a quarter.”
-- Former PA Minister of Prisoners Issa Karake, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 23, 2014
The official PA daily even used Holocaust imagery to deny Israel’s right to exist:
"This war has proved once again that Israel is a completely artificial state without historic or moral roots, a myth produced by the settlement wave – a fact that prevents it from living normally. As long as it exists, it will only produce things that are against humanity… Binyamin Netanyahu is a descendant of the Nazis [who] worships Hitler’s ways and imitates him in all the Holocausts he has perpetrated.”
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 3, 2014
The PA’s Israeli-Nazi propaganda onslaught, coupled with Hamas-led genocidal anti-Jew cries, supercharged a level of anti-Semitism across Europe so virulent that leading human rights icon Natan Sharansky declared we are witnessing the end of European Jewish history.
Against this backdrop and the implosion of so much of the region, it is hard to imagine that an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is just around the corner. Before setting itself up for another Mideast diplomatic disappointment, the U.S. would do well to demand accountability from Abbas for the billions of dollars given to the PA that have done little to build the infrastructure for a future Palestinian state.
Secondly, the U.S. should demand that the PA stop demonizing its neighbor.
Unless the Obama administration and other “peacemakers” force the PA to talk peace to its own constituents, the toxic yield from its harvest of hate will poison hopes for peace for years to come.