Avnery raises the question, essentially by mockery, of recognizing Israel’s “right to exist” as a precondition for Israel negotiating with Hamas or a Hamas-Fatah coalition government. Avnery asks in his title: “Facing Mecca [referring to the Saudi mediated unity agreement between Hamas and Fatah] MUST A Native-American recognize the right of the United States of America to exist?”
The terms of the issue are phrased badly, both by Avnery and by most other people. Naturally, the issue isn’t or shouldn’t be the recognition of Israel’s “right to exist” but rather its existence. If Hamas really means to accept a two-state solution with Israel, it knows how to communicate this directly, without relying upon Assad as an intermediary or Avnery as an interpreter.
What Hamas must do is to act to curtail violence. Frankly, I had not despaired a year ago when Hamas was elected because I was almost sure that Hamas would move to effectively enforce a cease-fire; I felt it had the disciplined forces to do so. Instead, it ignored constant rocket attacks into Israel and declared its moral support for two suicide bomb attacks that succeeded in killing Israeli civilians. Then it conducted an act of war in collaborating with other groups in attacking that Israeli patrol inside Israel, resulting in two soldiers killed and one captured.
Yes, Israel can be blamed for overreacting in conducting extensive operations in Gaza in response that have killed several hundred Palestinians. But Hamas failed to take advantage of Israel’s prior withdrawal of all settlements from Gaza and the sale of greenhouses for the advantage and welfare of the Palestinian people. As a progressive Zionist, Israel often disappoints me grievously, but the Palestinian leadership keeps on compounding this problem with its mindless actions and reactions. It’s not a progressive position to whitewash Hamas.
The following are a couple of intelligent bloggers disagreeing with each other on this same issue:
The Recognition Trap (Alex Stein) – “There are many reasons for the moribund state of Israeli-Palestinian relations at the moment, but the central issue is that of recognition. One of the Quartet’s demands for ending the boycott on the Palestinians is that the new government recognise Israel. This is clear enough. De facto recognition is a clear concept in international relations; actors in the international system (state, non-state and quasi-state) only have formal relations with one another once there is mutual recognition. If the Palestinian government refuses to recognise Israel, it cannot expect Israel (and by extension many of Israel’s allies) to deal with it. But it’s not that simple…” Click here for full article.
The Cognition Trap (SimplyJews) – “That headline above was rather a trap that Alex of False Dichotomies set for himself with that “The recognition trap” title. Usually well balanced, this time Alex, in my opinion, let his dreams about a peace settlement to get the better of his reasoning.” Click here for this response to Alex Stein.