by Charles Krauthammer
"Apart from the time restriction (a truce that lapses after 10 years) and the refusal to accept
- Hamas peace plan, as explained by the New York Times
"Apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?"
- Tom Lehrer, satirist
The Times conducted a five-hour interview with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal at his
There is a phrase for such a peace: the peace of the grave.
Westerners may be stupid, but Hamas is not. It sees the new American administration making overtures to
With the 1993
Meshal sees the opportunity. Not only is the Obama administration reaching out to its erstwhile enemies in the region, but it begins its term by wagging an angry finger at
Of all the phony fights to pick with
Netanyahu's own defense minister, Ehud Barak, offered precisely such a deal in 2000. He even offered to divide
The Palestinian response (for those who have forgotten) was: No. And no counteroffer. Instead, nine weeks later, Arafat unleashed a savage terror war that killed 1,000 Israelis.
Netanyahu is reluctant to agree to a Palestinian state before he knows what kind of state it will be. That elementary prudence should be shared by anyone who's been sentient the last three years. The Palestinians already have a state, an independent territory with not an Israeli settler or soldier living on it. It's called
If this is what a West Bank state is going to be, it would be madness for
Apart from being reasonable, Netanyahu's two-state skepticism is beside the point. His predecessor, Ehud Olmert, worshiped at the shrine of a two-state solution. He made endless offers of a two-state peace to the Palestinian Authority — and got nowhere.
Why? Because the Palestinians — going back to the U.N. partition resolution of 1947 — have never accepted the idea of living side by side with a Jewish state. Those like Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who might want to entertain such a solution, have no authority to do it. And those like Hamas's Meshal, who have authority, have no intention of ever doing it.
Meshal's gambit to dress up perpetual war as a two-state peace is yet another iteration of the Palestinian rejectionist tragedy. In its previous incarnation, Arafat lulled
Arafat waited seven years to tear up his phony peace. Meshal's innovation? Ten - then blood.
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