Polls consistently show that many Americans don’t know, let alone truly care about, what goes on outside the borders of this country. Walk down the aisle of your local grocery store and the trove of magazines available for purchase will lead you to the logical conclusion that most Americans are far more fixated on what goes in within the thirty mile zone of Hollywood than on life and death issues confronting people across the globe.
That being said, there are still actual media outlets that purport to deliver hard news about what’s going on in the world. Right next door to one of America’s closest allies, the Palestinian President Mahmound Abbas recently announced his intention to join forces with Hamas. Hamas is a terrorist organization that celebrates jihad, revels in the murder of innocents and promotes the destruction of the state of Israel.
The scarcity of widespread and deep coverage of this story, and the muted outcry against this outrageous development, are telling.
As Americans, we have felt the sting of being targeted by deluded zealots who have killed innocent people in the name of holy warfare against us and our way of life. Israel has had to confront the same threat since even before its rebirth in 1948.
While it has relentlessly sought peace with its neighbors, Israel has so far been unable to conclude a final agreement with the Palestinians, who have proven unable or unwilling to accept the reality that Israel is here to stay as a homeland for the Jewish people.
?Founded in 1987 as an offshoot of the radical Egyptian Brotherhood, the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas is a group that to this day remains committed to the idea that the entire state of Israel is occupied territory.
Incredibly, at the very time the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have been conducting U.S.-mediated negotiations whose goal is ending the conflict, the PA has announced that it is forming a unity government with Hamas. In other words, the PA is preparing to go down the road of pursuing peace negotiations in concert with a group that employs terrorism as a tactic and refuses to even accept Israel’s right to exist.
To understand the absurdity of this reality, can we imagine if our own country were negotiating an agreement with a Mexican government that suddenly announced that it was joining forces with a terrorist army that had murdered thousands of our citizens in gruesome bus bombings and rocket attacks? Of course not.
By pursuing this course, the PA is shamelessly violating previous agreements with Israel and refuting the demands of the international community, which has repeatedly stipulated that the Palestinians must recognize the right of Israel to exist and halt the use of violence.
The announced partnership with Hamas gives Israel yet another reason to doubt the sincerity of the Palestinians’desire for peace. Moreover, it is a direct slap in the face of the United States. Keep in mind that the Palestinian Authority owes its very existence in large part to the United States, which brokered the Oslo peace process and has provided training to the PA’s security forces and helped keep it afloat for decades with vital economic assistance.
During his tenure as Secretary of State, John Kerry has invested huge efforts in pushing the Palestinians and Israel toward peace—he has made nearly a dozen trips to the region since 2014 began. Yet the likelihood of a final agreement seems increasingly less likely with each passing da.
America cannot want a Palestinian peace agreement with Israel more than the Palestinians themselves want it. And Israel cannot be expected to sit across the negotiating table from people who are unapologetic about wanting to eradicate them.
According to Hamas elder statesman Mahmound al-Zahar,“The reconciliation deal will not change Hamas at all and will not bring the organization to recognize Israel’s right to exist.”
So there we have it. Observers of the Middle East need not speculate about what this PA-Hamas alliance could means for progress on the peace front. Hamas has told us.
It is truly tragic that there appears no end in sight when it comes to the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel. We can only wait and see if the Palestinian Authority decides to reverse course yet again, or makes the fateful decision to continue down this path.
The Palestinian Authority’s reckless rapprochement with Hamas does nothing to advance peace. Rather, it guarantees another needless round of violence and bloodshed that will ultimately inflict serious consequences on its own people.