Friday, August 14, 2009

The two-state-style solution

Ever hear of "Kosher-style" food? It isn't kosher at all, but it involves the sorts of foods served at kosher restaurants, such as corned-beef sandwiches. I offer this as a metaphor for the seemingly endless examples of Hamas statements that kinda sorta sound like they accept the idea of a "two-state solution," but which actually demonstrate that Hamas officials don't agree that Israel could do anything at all to still exist and be at permanent peace with Hamas. The latest example is at the Jerusalem Post (h/t: VB) with the de rigueur misleading title: "'Hamas ready for Obama's ME peace plan'":
"We have an initial readiness to accept it and deal with it positively, but we will also reject it if it doesn't include an American recognition of the Palestinian rights," Yousef Rizka told the Chinese Xinhua news agency. [...]

Rizka stressed that Hamas makes up its positions "mainly from the level of meeting the Palestinian rights."

He said that Hamas now accepts a two-state solution "but only in exchange for a long-term truce" with Israel. [...]
This peace-free peace-offer seems to be fundamental pillar of Hamas thinking. Al-Ahram reported in 2004:
Abdul-Aziz Al- Rantisi, the second highest-ranking official in Hamas . . . told reporters on 25 January that Hamas would consider a 10-year truce with Israel if it withdrew from all the territories occupied in 1967.
Ismail Haniyeh's Washington Post editorial in 2006 was another notable example:
If Israel is prepared to negotiate seriously and fairly, and resolve the core 1948 issues, rather than the secondary ones from 1967, a fair and permanent peace is possible. Based on a hudna (comprehensive cessation of hostilities for an agreed time . . .
That's right, "permanent peace" "based on" a ceasefire with an expiration date. The unattainable goal of making Hamas ideas palatable to someone actually paying attention leads to total meaning-collapse in that sentence. At the beginning of this summer, the NY Times reported on an interview with Khaled Meshaal:
On the two-state solution sought by the Americans, he said: "We are with a state on the 1967 borders, based on a long-term truce. This includes East Jerusalem, the dismantling of settlements and the right of return of the Palestinian refugees." Asked what "long-term" meant, he said 10 years.
No talk of "permanent" anything there. I would say that Hamas has been almost numbingly consistent. Its leaders can't conceive of peace under any circumstances and they should be taken as adults with a mission and a guiding philosophy. Expect more false reports of Hamas moves towards pragmatism.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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