Saturday, December 24, 2005

Peace Between Israel and Palestine: Hamas a Partner for Peace?

A friend gave me this very disturbing article the other day, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to respond to it. Part of me wants to start examining every fact, providing my opinion which most history books, by sources on both sides of the political spectrum, are specifically opposed to the author of this piece. But of course there are always multiple sides to every issue, multiple opinions, and who’s to say mine is more correct than his.

It does raise an interesting question, however. Hamas is mainly representative of the Palestinians who have left the country since the 1967 war, and I’ll call them Diaspora Palestinians. Yasser Arafat was a Diaspora Palestinians, and many of the great leaders that were associated with the Palestinian Authority were Diaspora Palestinians. Generally speaking, these Palestinians were often the more recognizable, carried out the huge military/guerilla actions, and as such they have been Israel’s primary partner for peace, such as it were, throughout the Palestinian peace process.

Hamas is also backed by Syria, and I addressed the Syria issue in a post yesterday, and the concept of returning the Golan in exchange for peace with Syria. When Hassan Abu Nimah says “Hamas should not be opposed to a decent peace settlement with Israel where the Palestinian rights, as defined by the UN resolutions, are respected”, Abu Nimah is referring to the return of the Golan, and perhaps the return of some of Jerusalem.

Well, let’s put the cards on the table. The elections taking place in Palestine right now are over this issue, and really none else. Every vote for Hamas is a vote for inclusion of Hamas, and their resistance movement, in the peace process. Also, each vote for Hamas is a vote against any peace agreement that does not give Palestine a part of Jerusalem for their capital.

Conversely, every vote for the PA is a vote for a better quality of life, even if Jerusalem is sacrificed for it. It’s a vote against violence, for the most part, with the hope that life will become more secure, more predictable, and less occupied.

It is not for me, and Israeli/American, to say which side is the better side to support. I have my opinions, but they have no bearing here. As far as which side the Palestinians choose to support, they need to decide who will provide them with the best long-term future. Abu Nimah’s points are well articulated and convincing, we’ll see who the Palestinians decide to back on January 25th.

Posted by Scottage at 5:29 PM / | |