When Hamas took over the control of Gaza, it seemed to me that any chance for a peace agreement were over. I was right.
There were two reasons for this: first, as the PA had no authority to negotiate on behalf of Gaza, the concept of a two state solution with a Palestinian state containing the West Bank and Gaza was gone, and the idea of a Palestinian state encompassing the West Bank only was (a) not going to solve Israel’s problem, and (b) politically impossible for the PA. While negotiations continued (more or less, now and then), they seemed more for show than for accomplishment.
But now, the PA and Hamas have worked out some sort of joint governance agreement. You would think that this would make the peace process easier. Think again. The big problem is on the Hamas side, of course. Hamas (defined by the US as a terrorist organization, but let’s not concentrate on that for now) is funded (and therefore at least to some extent controlled) by Iran, which is problem enough, but compounding that is the charter of Hamas which, as perhaps its most cardinal point, contains provisions such as the following (from the English language version on the Palestine Center website:
“Peace initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement. For renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing npart of the religion; the nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its faith…..”
“Israel will arise and remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it has eliminated its predecessors.”
“Hamas is one of the links in the chain of Jihad in the confrontation of the Zionist invasion.”
“The Prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O, Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him.”
I am not making this up, folks. This is what Israel is dealing with. How would you deal with it?
If the PA re-acquired control of Gaza from Hamas, the story would be different. If Hamas would amend its charter (and related position papers and internal propaganda), the story would be different.
But – unfortunately – the story is not at all different.