At what point to we advocate population transfer in the disputed territories to other Arab states, and allow Israel to annex all of it once and for all? I mean c’mon, who is Israel exactly supposed to make peace with? Certainly no one called the Palestinians.
While main stream media remained focus on a lovely time in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve, they all seemed to overlook the mortar shell was fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel on Saturday night, exploding in Eshkol Regional Council, or the two rockets that was fired from the northern Gaza Strip and exploded in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council. The Color Red alert sounded in the areas, and thankfully no injuries or damage was reported.
These were nothing compared to the hundreds fired this year or the thousands over the last decade. Now in the face of a rising Islamic extremist wave piggy backing the Arab spring that’s spreading over the middle east, a (possible) reorganization of the PLO is underway that pretty much puts Israel in it’s place with what needs to ultimately be done.
During and after this weeks meetings with Abbas and Mashaal, several mainstream media outlets like the NYT,Washington Post jumped on the story of a new pragmatic and moderate Hamas.
Boy were they completely wrong as usual.
Hamas is joining the PLO not as a result of a change in its ideology but because it wants the PLO to stick to its original platform – liberating Palestine and achieving the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees, Hamas leaders explained over the weekend.
The Hamas leaders’ clarifications came in response to claims that Hamas’s decision to join the PLO was a sign the Islamist movement was moving toward moderation and would abandon its radical ideology. Hamas and Islamic Jihad are demanding the PLO reconsider its political strategy by scrapping the Oslo Accords and its recognition of the two-state solution. Hamas’s “foreign minister” Osama Hamdan, said the decision to join the temporary PLO leadership did not mean Hamas would become part of the peace process with Israel. “Anyone who thinks Hamas has changed its positions and now accepts the PLO’s defeatist political program is living in an illusion,” Hamdan stressed. “Hamas cannot make the mistake of joining a process that has proved to be a failed one over the past 20 years.” He was quoted by the Quds Press news agency as saying Hamas’s decision to be part of a provisional PLO leadership was aimed at “reconstructing the organization and reconsidering its political program.” Hamdan emphasized that Hamas remains committed to fulfilling the aspirations of Palestinians, “first and foremost the liberation of our lands from the sea to the river and achieving the right of return.” The Hamas leader said those who believe the Palestinians could continue to pursue the PLO’s “failed” political program over the past two decades are deluding themselves. By seeking reconciliation with Fatah, Hamas hopes to achieve the Palestinians’ goal of liberating all their lands and securing the return of the refugees to their original homes inside Israel, Hamdan said.
And then there’s Islamic Jihads side of the story.
Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ramadan Shallah also denied the decision to join the provisional PLO leadership was an indication his group would abandon its ideology.
“We still haven’t joined the PLO,” he said. “In future discussions with other factions, we will talk about incorporating Islamic Jihad into the PLO. Thursday’s meeting was just the beginning of this process.” Shallah told London-based Al- Hayat newspaper it has already been made clear no organization would be asked to abandon its program as a condition for joining the PLO. On the other hand, he added, no group has been asked to accept the PLO’s political platform as a condition for joining the organization. “In principle, there is a Palestinian consensus that the PLO is an address for all Palestinians,” Shallah said. “We are seeking to make this an appropriate address.” He said that during last week’s discussions in Cairo, PLO and PA leader Mahmoud Abbas made it clear the Palestinians would still preserve the right to “armed resistance” against Israel, despite the talk about the need for a “popular uprising.” “No one has the right to say armed resistance is illegitimate and the Palestinians cannot resort to it,” Shallah said.
Palestinians hailed the agreement as a “historic event” that would mark the beginning of a new era for the Palestinian issue. The move will pave the way for Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other radical groups to join the PLO, which has 10 members – the largest being Fatah. Other members include the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestinian People’s Party, the Palestine Liberation Front and the Arab Liberation Front, as well as four tiny groups aligned with Syria and with Iraq’s now defunct Ba’ath Party.
Israel immediately slammed the move, with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev saying that if Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “embraces Hamas – if he walks toward Hamas, he is walking away from peace.”
I say annex now, before the next intifada comes… How many chances are we forced to give?