“Israel exists and will continue to exist only until Islam obliterates it. The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews, killing the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.” (The Hamas Charter)
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks — launched amidst a 10-month halt on construction of new Israeli settlements in the West Bank — came to a screeching halt on September 26 as the moratorium expired. Palestinian leaders say that peace talks cannot continue unless Israel extends its settlement freeze, or drafts a new one altogether. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not inclined to do so — not without major enticements from the Obama Administration. And why should he be? What happened the last time Israel agreed to give up its settlements for the promise of peace in negotiations orchestrated by an American President?
In the summer of 2005, former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made a historic move towards peace. With no preconditions required of the Palestinian Authority to combat Hamas or dismantle their terrorist infrastructure, Sharon disbanded 21 settlements in Gaza and sent IDF troops to forcibly evict over 8,000 Jewish settlers from their homes. And what was the response from the Palestinians? When the Israelis moved out, Hamas moved in to militarize the territory they had left behind. Settlements abandoned in the pursuit of peace became staging grounds for rocket attacks against Israeli cities.
The Palestinian Authority says that settlements must be abandoned as a precondition for peace. I say that Hamas must be annihilated as a precondition for the abandonment of Israeli settlements.
The Palestine Authority may be moderate and peace-seeking, but their authority exists in name only. The true power in Palestine—the faction which controls the guns, the public airwaves, and the education of Palestinian youth—is the terrorist organization Hamas. And Hamas has no interest in peace; their sole objective is to murder Jews. Nor do they care for the welfare of Palestinian civilians, who they use as human shields for their intifada. Israeli forces cannot move against Hamas without causing massive damage to Palestinian civilians precisely because Hamas has chosen to embed itself in civilian targets.
Every attempt to peacefully bring about an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict in the past 20 years has been hijacked by Hamas’s gunmen and suicide bombers. Moreover, they have indoctrinated an entire generation of Palestinian youth with their theological anti-Semitism. They have used the likeness of Mickey Mouse to teach preschool-aged children that it is their duty as “the pioneers of tomorrow” to kill Jews (Go on Youtube. Look up Mickey Mouse Teaches Kids to Commit Terrorism). They have turned the mosques of Gaza into houses of hate, where Hamas’s own imams preach death to Jews from their pulpits (Go on Youtube. Look up Jews Destined to die! Hamas). They have convinced mothers that they are doing God’s work by strapping bombs to their children and sending them to markets and nightclubs to become ‘martyrs.’ How can Israel be expected to disengage from its occupation of Gaza and seek reconciliation with the Palestinians when this is the thinking of the dominant faction therein?
There can be no peace while Hamas holds power. And it is alleged that Israeli soldiers acting unilaterally cannot attack Hamas without creating more terrorists then they kill, due to the collateral damage which ensues, leaving otherwise moderate Palestinians inclined to sympathize with Hamas’s hateful cause. So the Palestinian Authority must use its own knowledge of the actors within the territory it allegedly controls to assist Israel in killing Hamas’s leaders and confiscating their resources as bloodlessly as circumstance permits. This must be a precondition for any action pursuant to a two-state solution: the Palestinian Authority must demonstrate that it has both the intent and the capability to be a partner in peace. Then and only then should Israel be expected to reciprocate.
RESPONSE — Cease All Settlements