-This is part of an ongoing series of contributions by Richard Z. Chesnoff.
PEACE PROSPECTS IN PIECES
by Richard Z. Chesnoff, NY Daily News 7/3/06
That much-touted deal between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his terrorist foes in the Hamas government ain't worth its weight in falafel balls. Straw-clutching pseudo-experts would have you believe the agreement - which is supposed to end Palestinian infighting - "implicitly recognizes the Jewish state of Israel."
Funny, because the word Israel doesn't come up once in the accord. Nor is there any call anywhere for the establishment of two side-by-side states as a peaceful solution to the long-festering conflict.
Instead, the Abbas-Hamas agreement endorses the right to "liberate Palestinian land by first establishing an independent state ... in all the territory occupied in 1967." In other words, it's okay to set up a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza - but only as a first step toward "liberating the rest of Palestine." We know what that means: destroying Israel.
If you don't believe me, listen to what Abdel Khaleq Natsche, who signed the document for Hamas, and Bassam al-Sa'adi, who signed for Islamic Jihad, had to say in a joint statement: "We scorn the attempts to attach nonexistent content to the document, and therefore, we emphasize that it does not contain any declaration or hint of recognition of the occupation state and does not contain any call for this."
What's more, the document demands Jerusalem become the Palestinian capital and reasserts the "right of return" - permission for several million Palestinian refugees to take up residence in the Jewish state and destroy it from the inside. Both demands are major nonstarters.
Worst of all, the Abbas-Hamas accord allows for continued Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israel and Israelis. Which is only one of the reasons Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has ordered so harsh a response to rocket raids from Gaza and the abduction of that 19-year old Israeli soldier from inside Israeli lines.
Olmert has a tough reputation to live up to: that of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The now-comatose Sharon wasn't known as the "bulldozer" for nothing. Many Israelis fear that Olmert still isn't big enough to wear Sharon's shoes or drive his power machine - especially on the eve of a planned unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank. So Olmert has been playing extra tough with the Palestinians - and if he's smart, he will continue to do so.
Meanwhile, the civilian population of Gaza suffers dreadfully from lack of supplies and utilities, not to mention danger of "collateral damage" from air raids on terrorists. Israel is not to blame for mounting Palestinian woes. The fault lies with the madmen of Hamas who would rather see their people continue to suffer than come to terms with a fact that was internationally established close to 60 years ago: the historically legitimate and legally recognized Jewish State of Israel.
Israel doesn't need Palestinian permission to exist. As former Prime Minister Menachem Begin once thundered: "The Jewish people have an historic, eternal and inalienable right to exist in this land, Eretz Yisrael, the land of our forefathers. ... I say to the world, our very existence per se is our right to exist!"
Originally published on July 3, 2006