'PA-Hamas unity could lead to settlement building'

Middle East analyst Barak Seener tells 20 Questions his predictions for Syria and Libya, and comments on the repercussions that a Hamas-Fatah unity will have for Israel.

20 questions 58 (photo credit: courtsey)
20 questions 58
(photo credit: courtsey)
What do you think will happen in theUN regarding the declaration of a Palestinian state? Do you think theLibyan conflict will be protracted as NATO leaders have said? In youropinion, what are the chances that Bashar al-Assad's regime willsurvive the uprising in Syria?
This week's 20 Questions hosts Barak Seener, a Middle East fellow for the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London.
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Seenerasserts that a unity between Hamas and Fatah will ultimately harm thePalestinians since the international community will not accept agovernment which explicitly calls for the destruction of the State ofIsrael. In addition to this, Hamas has what Seener terms a "genocidalagenda," making peace with Israel impossible.
Seener postulates that the biggest threat facing Israel is US foreignpolicy, and in particular, its policy towards the Middle East. Seeneraccuses the Obama administration of haphazardly distinguishing betweenMuslim groups in an effort to find viable partners among the moderates.Unfortunately, opines Seener, "moderate" is often followed with"jihadist" so that while Hamas are radical jihadists, Fatah are merelymoderate ones.
According to Seener, a curious phenomenon has emerged from the Arabrevolt age, whereby autocratic leaders find themselves in a position of"damned if they do and damned if they don't." In the case of Syria, ifAssad bows to the will of the people, it may undermine the strength ofhis regime. However, if the reverse were to happen and Assad continueshis violent offense, the masses could prevail and Assad will bedefeated.
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