Why this time might be different

Palestine is really only within reach if and when Abbas dismantles Hamas.

August 7, 2013 22:35
2 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the weekly cabinet meeting, July 28, 2013.

Netanyahu at cabinet meeting July 2013 370. (photo credit: Koby Gideon/GPO)

Betting on a resolution to the matsav (“situation”) is always a lottery- like proposition at best.

So why do Israelis and Palestinians keep going back to the bargaining table every few years? Because without winning this lottery and achieving an agreement, eventually one, or more likely both sides will wither and die.

It’s no exaggeration. If it was, neither side would keep going back to the table – no matter how much every US president wants them to.

The Arab Spring has changed the odds this time around. At first glance, we would guess that being surrounded by regional chaos would only make east Jerusalem and the West Bank more of a powder-keg. It has not. While surprising at first, this makes lot of sense when thought through.

The Palestinians (and the world) have seen over 100,000 people killed in Syria and thousands more in places like Egypt, as people fight for a free country. And Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas fully understands that not one more Palestinian or Israeli needs to die for there to be a free State of Palestine.

A brand-new country without shedding any more blood – that is where the Palestinians are at now. That is the bargain of a lifetime – and the Palestinians can thank the Arab Spring for making this so vividly clear to them.

So can Israel. Its dream of remaining a free and democratic country can now happen because Abbas knows he can’t beat them with terrorism.

While the agreement can happen with no more bloodshed, we all know it won’t go down that way. Some terrorist faction, such as Hamas (still rulers of Gaza), will screw things up for everybody again. Until Abbas finds the courage to take down his real enemy, nothing will really change.

So, I’m sorry I must amend what I wrote above: No Palestinian needs to die in a fight with Israel for there to be a State of Palestine.

But Abbas must regain control of Gaza for their dream to become a reality – no matter how bloody that battle gets.

Killing your own people can be a good thing, you say?! Yes.

Look at what David Ben- Gurion’s Majority Rule did to the Irgun under Menachem Begin. Begin’s group suffered many casualties as Israel sought to become unified under one rule. Ben- Gurion and the IDF prevailed.

That’s where Abbas is at.

He has proven that he’s not a terrorist (at least not since he succeeded Arafat). His people in the West Bank realize an agreement with Israel is in their best interests.

But Palestine is really only within reach if and when Abbas dismantles Hamas.

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