Fatah makes peace . . . with Hamas

Fatah and Hamas are burying the hatchet:

The two main Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, announced Wednesday that they were putting aside years of bitter rivalry to create an interim unity government and hold elections within a year, a surprise move that promised to reshape the diplomatic landscape of the Middle East.

The deal, brokered in secret talks by the caretaker Egyptian government, was announced at a news conference in Cairo where the two negotiators referred to each side as brothers and declared a new chapter in the Palestinian struggle for independence, hobbled in recent years by the split between the Fatah-run West Bank and Hamas-run Gaza. . .

Israel, feeling increasingly surrounded by unfriendly forces, denounced the unity deal as dooming future peace talks since Hamas seeks its destruction. “The Palestinian Authority has to choose between peace with Israel and peace with Hamas,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared in a televised statement. The Obama administration warned that Hamas was a terrorist organization unfit for peacemaking.

Netanyahu has it exactly right. Hamas is an implacable enemy of Israel; Fatah can’t make peace with both. But, in truth, Fatah has made is clear to those paying attention that it has no real interest in peace with Israel, only in the benefits that accrue from play-acting a part in the “peace process”.

Hopefully, this will be a clarifying moment, and will put and end to our willful blindness toward Fatah’s intentions. For example, the Economist often writes that “the outline of a peace deal is clear”. Sure, it is clear to us, but Fatah (to say nothing of Hamas) doesn’t want the deal. It doesn’t matter if the deal seems reasonable to us; we can’t make them want it.

POSTSCRIPT: It is troubling that Egypt’s interim government brokered the deal. It might bespeak a hostility toward Israel that we expect from the Muslim Brotherhood, but we did not expect from the generals.

(Via Pajamas Media.)

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