Holding the line on Hamas

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Once it is sworn into office, Israel's new government will immediately have to go on a diplomatic offensive.



This month, under Egyptian sponsorship, Hamas and Fatah began negotiating the formation of a Palestinian unity government that, if agreed upon, will run the affairs of the Palestinian Authority. From what can be gleaned from media accounts of the proceedings, it is clear Hamas will control the government and Fatah will operate as a junior partner responsible for keeping up international monetary support for the PA. Hamas will not recognize Israel. And Fatah and Hamas militias will be unified in some manner and end all cooperation and coordination with Israel.



In short, if formed, the new Palestinian government will be nothing more than a Hamas-Fatah terror consortium committed to waging continuous war against Israel.



By all accounts, the international community, including the Obama administration, will recognize and support this government if and when it is established. Egypt halted the talks last week and sent emissaries to Washington and Brussels to secure American and European support for it.



General Omar Suleiman, head of Egyptian intelligence, flew to Washington to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit jetted off to Brussels where he made the same case to EU foreign policy boss Javier Solana. That their missions were successful was made clear by the announcement that the Hamas-Fatah negotiations were to resume this week.



Moreover, after meeting with Gheit, Solana threatened the incoming Netanyahu government that it will suffer international isolation if it does not join Europe, the U.S. and the Arab world in embracing the establishment of a Palestinian state as its chief goal in office. In doing so, Solana signaled that as far as Europe is concerned, the nature of the Palestinian government is immaterial. The only side that will be blamed for Palestinian aggression will be Israel.



In Washington too, things are going Hamas's way. President Barak Obama's Middle East mediator, George Mitchell, has called for the administration to support a Hamas-Fatah government. Former senior officials with close ties to the administration like Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft and Lee Hamilton are publicly calling for U.S. recognition of Hamas.



Given the increased likelihood that the U.S. (and the EU) will recognize Hamas, one of the swiftly emerging challenges for the incoming Netanyahu government will be how to contend with the new reality.



As it stands, the incoming government is operating at a severe deficit. Both outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and outgoing Foreign Minister (and Kadima leader) Tzipi Livni have made it clear they will side with the U.S. and Europe against their own government.



Livni joined the campaign to isolate the incoming government when, like Solana, she claimed Netanyahu's refusal to endorse the so-called "two-state solution" rendered him an extremist with whom she could not cooperate.



On Sunday evening Olmert attacked outgoing Defense Minister (and Labor Party leader) Ehud Barak for his willingness to join the Netanyahu government. In Olmert's words, "Anyone who consciously walks into a government that does not believe in two states for two peoples is likely to force Israel into an isolation it has not seen since its establishment."



Statements like these from Kadima's leaders make it difficult for Netanyahu to withstand claims by the likes of Scowcroft, Mitchell and British Foreign Minister David Miliband that the time has come to recognize Hamas. But even with the likes of Olmert and Livni siding with foreign governments against him, Netanyahu will still have one option — and he will have to use it.



Netanyahu and his government will have to exert unrelenting pressure on the U.S. and individual European governments to end their recognition of Hamas. He and his colleagues will need to make constant reference to Hamas's terror activities and to it genocidal covenant. They will have to repeatedly recall its ties to Iran and its likeness to al Qaeda. They will need to condemn calls by the Israeli Left to recognize Hamas and use the bully pulpit in Israel to attack their political opponents for working against the interests of the state.



We have been here before. In December 1988, prodded by the incoming Bush administration and the American Jewish Left, the lame duck Reagan administration opened a dialogue with the PLO, which it claimed had accepted Israel's right to exist and foresworn terror.



Following the U.S. move, the Shamir government used every opportunity to point out that the PLO had not given up terrorism and had not in fact accepted Israel's right to exist. The pressure the Israeli government exerted on the Bush administration compelled it to break off ties with the PLO in June 1990 after the PLO committed a terror attack in Israel.



The country that in the end legitimized the PLO was Israel – with the September 1993 Oslo agreement – not the U.S. When then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin recognized the PLO and brought Yasir Arafat to Gaza, he did more than pave the road to the White House in gold for Arafat. By telling the U.S. to embrace the PLO, Israel found itself without recourse when — in the space of just a few weeks from the euphoric signing ceremony in the White House Rose Garden — the PLO resumed its war against Israel, transforming the areas Israel had transferred to its control into the largest terror training bases in the world.



After Oslo, discrediting the PLO meant discrediting the Israeli Left, which embraced the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians. Since the Left has dominated most Israeli governments since 1993 and has retained control over the media, this was a non-starter. And so even when Fatah – the PLO's governing faction — openly colludes with Hamas, as it is currently doing in the negotiations toward the formation of a Hamas-dominated government, the Israeli Left feels compelled to uphold it as legitimate and to overlook its hostile behavior.



The most stunning example of the Israeli Left's refusal to criticize Fatah came last week when Fatah security chief Muhammad Dahlan gave an interview to PA television where he explained the nature of the PLO/Fatah's deception of Israel.



Fatah, Dahlan explained, has never recognized Israel. In his words, "We [Fatah] are not asking Hamas to recognize Israel's right to exist. Rather, we are asking Hamas not to do so because Fatah never recognized Israel's right to exist."



What Dahlan's remarks made clear is that the PLO's recognition of Israel was an optical illusion. Without its constituent factions, the PLO is an empty shell. And its constituent factions did not recognize Israel. Dahlan then explained that the Hamas-Fatah government will operate under the same principle. Hamas will join the PLO. Hamas will form a government with Fatah. Both terror groups will recognize PLO agreements with Israel and both will continue to wage war against Israel as Hamas and Fatah – rather than as the Palestinian government.



It might be thought that Dahlan's admission of premeditated and continuous bad faith would have elicited a strong reaction from Israel. But no such thing occurred. Aside from the Jerusalem Post, no Israeli media outlet mentioned the interview. Neither did any Israeli leftist politician.



And this makes sense. Acknowledging what Dahlan said would require a parallel Israeli acknowledgement that Israel's strategy for the past 16 years has been based on a complete lie. It would also make Israel even more unpopular internationally since Fatah is the toast of every town in the Western world.



It is this state of affairs that must be avoided at all costs with Hamas. Israel must give no quarter in this debate. And who kno
ws — if it holds the line on Hamas while pointing out the significance of Fatah's collusion with the Iranian proxy, perhaps by the time the next terror campaign inevitably commences Israel will have finally begun to erode Fatah's international reputation.

Originally published in The Jewish Press.

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  • Marcel Cousineau 03/27/2009 at 18:54

    By following the peace process of the Goyim (Nations) instead of Hashem, Israel has become morally bankrupt and refuses to deal with the growing menace from within as the West would not approve of Israel treating the Arab threat as they should be treated.
    Instead the immoral kapo like government of Israel goes after fellow Jews to please their
    Goyim god’s of the west.
    Israel is in for some dark days because the nation as a whole threw aside rational,common sense reason ,sound principal and sanity to embrace the delusional and failed Western agenda of peace with Islam by Jewish surrender which will never happen.
    Below is what the Israeli police did against fellow Jews in Kfar Saba this week ,(something they would never do to provoke Arab villagers)
    and only because the Western globalist agenda has only one enemy ,Jews who want to live on their land.
    The global war is against Israel ,especially the Jews who refuse to surrender to the evil decree of placating evil Islam at cost of their God given land,heritsge and birthright.
    The whole foundation of Judiasm is at stake when it comes to Judea and Samaria,also known as the West Bank by Israel’s enemies.
    And so the Jewish leadership has declared war of these Jews to please the god thay have chosen to religiously serve and please.
    ‘The settlers at Gilad Farm protested the arrests and said police were being deliberately confrontational. Itai Zar, a resident of the outpost, said officers had arrived in a car bearing Palestinian license plates and stopped it at the road entrance. Two officers dressed in Arab garb emerged from the vehicle and stood nearby.’

  • Ron Grandinetti, USA 03/27/2009 at 20:42

    Caroline unfortunately what you say is all true.
    The U.S. is bent on recognizing Hamas and the new Palestinian unity government in an attempt to appease the Arab world.
    The Obama administration is loaded with real characters and a majority are anti-Semitic.
    The U.S. government under Obama is and has been going in the wrong direction economically and in foreign affairs.
    Caroline the Netanyahu government has to stand tall and don’t give into any pressure from the U.S. or any other government.
    Israel knows what is best for Israel and she should not in any way shape or form deviate from that position.
    And in my own opinion for what its worth, forget the two state solution, at least not in Israel.
    Let it be know up front that the Golan Heights is Israeli territory and not for sale and Syria can take that to the bank.
    Hamas and PA should also be put on notice that if the rocket and suicide attacks don’t stop the IDF and ADF will drive all of Hamas and her cousins out of Israel and Gaza and will be sure this time the mission will completed.
    Caroline, my concern is where are the American Jews, especially those in influential places? Are they ashamed of being a Jew and/or standing up for Israel?
    I would hope if Netanyahu has any markers out there he should call them in and in addition put together a PR group to start working on congress and the American people pressure the government to back off.
    By the way who the hell says Israel has to recognize the new unity government or the PA and Hama for that matter.
    Livni appears to be a sore looser. She better wake up. All of Israel has to come together and quit the infighting. This is a Nation under siege from all sides and by the grace of God needs to be totally united.
    The State of Israel became a great Nation by great determination to be just that and not giving in to anyone.

  • Marcel Cousineau 03/27/2009 at 21:25

    ..” a government that does not believe in two states for two peoples is likely to force Israel into an isolation it has not seen since its establishment.”
    This would be a good thing for Israel but not for the idol worshipers who have no where else to go.
    This is the divine plan and it is going according to the historic script.
    With Israel rejected and isolated by the whole world ,there will be no one else to turn to but the Holy One of Israel.
    It’s sad that it has to take this extreme development for His people to look to Him for peace instead of the many false messiah’s Israel has bent their knees to in hope of peace.
    The latest power slut Israel preens to, Barak Hussein Obama is not interested in anything but a post Israel Middle East and so Netanyhau will need to do more than hold the line with Hamas.
    The concept of making Hamas a distant memory would send a message to the West that Israel intends on remaing where it is whether they like it or not.
    It’s past time to quit playing the role of the peasant serf to those who work dilligently to carve up your land as a gift to the islamic hordes.
    16 years of Israeli stupidity for no peace has to come to an end.
    The fools of the left and right are too proud to admit their error by submiting to Washington and Europe and this bad marriage will end with Israel’s isolation and return to her senses and her only true friend Hashem.

  • Marc Handelsman, USA 03/28/2009 at 2:09

    Israel cannot afford another PLO terrorist campaign. No matter how many Jews are murdered by Islamists, the Western world is weary of the Arab-Israeli conflict. They want to end it painlessly by using appeasement and amoral pragmatism. When Israel defends itself against Muslim extremists, the West condemns it. The next time Israel fights a defensive war to protect itself; there will be no sympathy from the West. And when Europe begins to experience Islamic terrorism in a big way, hopefully it will finally come back to reality.

  • Bob 03/28/2009 at 2:23

    Thank you, Caroline, for being a modern-day Esther in a world of Hamans. “Who knows but that you have been brought forward in history for such a time as this!” The gallows for Israel’s hanging is just about complete–thanks to the political traitors in your nation, America’s secular politicians and a world full of anti-semites. Israel is cornered. Her back is to the sea, Hesbollah is to the north, Hamas to the south, the PLO to the east; the trap is set and there is no way out. I cannot conceive of a nation being in a tighter situation than Israel is now–and all you have ever wanted is peace with your neighbors. Any other nation in your situation would be finished. But Israel has been here before. It was impossible for you to win the 1948 war, the 56 war, the 67; they scared you in the l973 war, the intifadas, the Hesbollah war, the Gaza war but you did! And you will win the next and the last war. The world will be dumbfounded, baffled and chagrined. Israel will be the head nation in what is left of the world. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has said that Israel will cease to be a nation when the sun, moon, and stars fall from the heavens. Hashem does not lie.
    Caroline, you are to be applauded for your bravery, insight, and loyalty to Israel and I encourage you to keep on keeping on. “Your help cometh from the hills.”

  • Bob 03/28/2009 at 3:11

    When I posted my comments a reply was returned that my comments were not accepted because “comment text was required”. Did my comments not appear? Or?

  • JB 03/28/2009 at 16:07

    Caroline- Given the current anti-Israel, anti-Semitic climate, the IDF is the only guarantor of Israeli security. No amount of diplomatic arm twisting will encourage the West to abandon the two-state “solution,” just as no level of governmental responsibility has moderated the behavior of Hamas. As it stands, Palestine is essentially a U.S.-E.U protectorate. It is this nebulous Palestinian proto-state that vexes Israel, beguiles witless Western diplomats, and provides easy recruitment and public relations bonanzas for the region’s radicals; recognize Hamas, put all cards on the table, and face Israel’s enemies state to state.

  • Mark Koenig 03/28/2009 at 18:19

    The Obama administration is proving now what thinking people, including Caroline knew long before the U.S. election was decided. Obama is no friend of Israel. He has surrounded himself with foreign-policy morons, several of whom are also anti-Semites. Netanyahu is going to have to maintain nerves of steel and the courage to rebuke not only the Obama administration, but the rest of the western world as Israel defends itself. American Jews are only now – very slowly – waking up to the fact that Obama is not what they had naively hoped he would be. I agree fully that the current Israeli government would do well to mount a vigorous public-relations campaign to persuade American Jews to wake up to the cold, hard facts of reality with regard to the current situation. As a non-Jewish American with many Jewish friends, it frustrates me no end to witness their willful denial of reality.

  • Tomer Elias 03/29/2009 at 1:44

    The world keeps insisting on “fixing” things backwards and the same goes for the Israely left. Why does everyone believe that a two state solution is the solution for all our problems? How can everyone expect such a solution to work when they aren’t even trying to create the foundations for it to succeed? How much more of the american tax payers money does Obama wish to poor into the idea before working to make it succeed? and the same goes for the EU.
    IF everyone would stop and think a little about what they want to do maybe they will see that a two state solution isn’t really whats going to help and it will only cause a greater burden on the world and mainly Israel since of course like always we will be the one to blame and need to support the failed palestinian state with water electricity and money to keep it from falling apart.
    Netanyahu has to go forward with his idea of economic peace which is the only solution that starts from the beginning. Its hard to understand why people are so against such a solution, Is it so bad for the palestinians to have a stable economy before they eventually get a state? Is working to create foundations for any successful solution that bad? Its hard to know how good or bad the Likuds solution is but its far more realistic then anything anyone has ever tried to do besides giving Fatah and Hamas more strength as terrorist groups, If anyone wants to help there focus has to be the palestinian people and not there so called peace leaders since If they cared for the suffering of there people there first actions would be creating a stable life that doesn’t require the support of everyone in the world since they can’t do anything themselves.
    And one last question when will the world start looking into these question and trying to answer them and when will more people like you Caroline start help the public understand these questions and there answers to force our leaders to start working on true solution that will benefit the free people and not the false leaders of peace who only seek destruction?

  • Pops in Vienna 03/29/2009 at 20:14

    Captain Glick,
    I bumped into my old Jewish friend Hosea. Here’s what he had to say about the situation:
    ” The people of Israel are like a half baked loaf of bread. They rely on the nations around them and do not realize that that this reliance on foreigners has robbed them of their strength. Their days are numbered, but they don’t even know it.”
    Hosea’s a pretty smart guy. I like him but his wife’s a tramp. Consider what he said.
    Mazel tov,


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