What the Washington Post hath wrought

In West Bank, Hamas Is Hailed for Its Fight Against Israel
New York Times, 2014-07-25


Just three months ago,
Hamas, financially strapped and diplomatically isolated,
agreed to a reconciliation deal
with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority
and his secularist Fatah faction
after a bitter, seven-year division,
on minimal terms that analysts said reflected the Islamic group’s weakness.

Now Hamas — which refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist
and is considered a terrorist organization by much of the West —
is being hailed in the West Bank as the champion of armed resistance,
while Mr. Abbas, who leads the alternative camp
advocating a negotiated peace deal with Israel,
is being excoriated for having failed to achieve a Palestinian state
after 20 years of intermittent and fruitless Israeli-Palestinian talks.


[And just why did Mr. Abbas fail to achieve a Palestinian state?
Was the demand of the Palestinian Authority
that the 1967 boundary be the baseline for negotiations so unreasonable?
I don't think so.
But without American pressure on Israel to let that be the baseline,
the Israeli government rejected that demand.
And why did the American government not put pressure on Israel?
Of course, because putting pressure on Israel
seems to be a policy supported by few in America.
While responsibility for that is widely spread,
surely the Washington Post editorial page
has written editorial after editorial arguing against pressuring Israel,
arguing explicitly that negotiations can only succeed
when each party desires that they succeed.
On the other hand, that same page is more than eager to argue for sanctions
against Iran, Russia, and a host of other parties they consider malefactors.
Well, Israel can show an iron fist as much as they want to the Palestinians,
but I think America needs to take some responsibility
for not encouraging, and as necessary pressuring, Israel
to offer an olive branch instead.
Specifically, agreeing that the 1967 boundary should be the negotiation baseline.]

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