by Khaled Abu Toameh
As Israel and the Palestinian Authority prepare to launch direct talks, the enemies of peace are stepping up their efforts to thwart any attempt to reach peace in the Middle East.
No "moderate" Palestinian leader will dare make any concessions for peace as long as Hamas, Hizbullah, Syria and Iran are continuing to issue daily threats against "traitors."
The major threat to the peace process is not an Israeli checkpoint or a new housing project in a West Bank settlement, but the threats coming from the evil forces in the Gaza Strip, Damascus, Beirut and Tehran.
Together, they are all making every effort to sabotage any peace effort. They are opposed to peace because they believe that Israel has no right to exist and should be wiped off the map.
The peace process will never move forward as long as these forces are actively working to destroy Israel and eliminate any Arab or Muslim who talks about compromise.
As long as the US Administration and its Western allies continue to turn a blind eye to these real threats, Israel and the Palestinian Authority leadership will never be able to make any progress towards peace.
Hamas, for example, has openly declared that its goal is to foil the US-sponsored direct talks that were recently launched in Washington.
Hams has, in the past few weeks resumed terror attacks in the West Bank, killing four Israelis. The radical movement, which controls the Gaza Strip, has also resumed rocket attacks on Israel.
Last week, a tragedy was avoided when Hamas rockets fell near two kindergartens shortly before they opened in the morning.
But Hamas is not alone in seeking to destroy the peace process. The Islamist movement is backed by other evil powers in the region, including Hizbullah, Syria and Iran.
Syria continues to play host to several radical Palestinian terror groups whose declared goal is to prevent the signing of any peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. These groups have armed cells in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that are ready to launch terror attacks against Israeli targets.
The Palestinian "rejectionist" groups are under the control of the Syrians, who use them to advance their own interests the same way they have been using Hizbullah and other terror groups in Lebanon for decades.
If Washington wants to ensure any kind of progress in the current peace talks and stop these radical groups, it should put pressure on the Syrian dictator in Damascus to rein them in.
The Iranians, on the other hand, have also made it clear that they intend to do their utmost to scuttle efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East. Not only does Iran, through its nuclear ambitions, pose an existential threat to Israel, but they are the number one suppliers of weapons to Hamas, Hizbullah and Syria.lt would have been better had the US and its allies first focused on combating the anti-peace forces in the region instead of exerting pressure on the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.
Khaled Abu Toameh
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.