By GARY BAUMGARTEN
If Hamas is part of a Palestinian entity negotiating a peace agreement with Israel, there will be no peace accord.
That, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who outlined his vision for a peace with the Palestinians before the Knesset.
His address to Israel’s parliament came in advance of his trip to Washington this week where he is expected to go into greater detail about how a peace might be achieved. But the peace process, which has been stalled anyway, won’t be jump started, Netanyahu made clear, so long as those sitting on the other side of the table represent the new coalition between Hamas and Fatah. Because, he says, Hamas wants to destroy the state of Israel.
It would seem logical under other circumstances. Who would expect a nation to negotiate a peace with an entity that, the treaty aside, is bent on still destroying that nation? But in the Alice In Wonderland world of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a nation that refuses to give up land for peace to an entity that wants to destroy it receives international condemnation.
From Israel’s perspective, this becomes a classic Catch 22. If Israel negotiates and hands over land to a Palestinian government comprised in half by leaders who want to destroy the Jewish state, it puts itself in jeopardy. But if it doesn’t – then a declaration of a Palestinian state may be unilaterally made. One that’s recognized by the majority of the international community. And it may become a fait accompli.