Friday, July 20, 2007

Quartet with strings attached

Speaking in Lisbon, Condi Rice said that Israel would need to recognise that Hamas was the democratically elected representative of the Palestinian people. would have to renounce violence and respect the agreements it has made, including to institute a Palestinian state and remove its settlements.

Well no, of course she fucking didn't. We're not even pretending any more.

Of course, Abbas will crawl to Blair. He's in a tight spot: the people do not like him and have not given him a mandate, and he heads only a small faction in Fatah. He's widely and correctly seen as an Israeli puppet.

But if we do not talk to Hamas, there can never be peace. But see, that's the point. No one, except the people living in squalor in camps, wants it.

For a measured statement of Hamas's position, read this.

Why should any Palestinian "recognize" the monstrous crime carried out by Israel's founders and continued by its deformed modern apartheid state, while he or she lives 10 to a room in a cinderblock, tin-roof United Nations hut? These are not abstract questions, and it is not rejectionist simply because we have refused to abandon the victims of 1948 and their descendants.

Israelis say they should be permitted a Jewish state because it is just. They have long been persecuted and need a place to be safe. They do not favour a single state because they are not well treated in other Islamic nations. As I've noted, much as a I hate the racist basis of Israel as a state, I see merit in that argument. But justice cuts both ways. Are the Jews the only people who deserve it?


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