Hamas to accept independent Palestinian state

...living side by side with Israel.

Depending on who you are, recent news from Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh will likely be greeted with joy or disdain.

Hamas, especially the strife between Hamas and Fatah, the main political organizations receiving the largest Palestinian support (40% Fatah, 25% Hamas by the most recent poll), has been used in recent years by Israel and the US as the impediment to peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. This strife was of course fomented by the US and Israel to alienate Hamas. Today, given that the Likud government is pretty much out of the closet about its decades long colonialism of the Palestinian territories, and its intents, it is hardly Hamas which impedes peace.

Yesterday Ismail Haniyeh declared that Hamas was "prepared to accept a state in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967." :

Haniyeh added that the militant Hamas movement, whose charter calls for the establishment of an Islamic state in all of historic Palestine, would be "prepared to accept a state in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967."

(snip)

"We are pushing towards the dream of having our independent state with Jerusalem as its capital," he said.

"If there is a real project that aims to resolve the Palestinian cause on establishing a Palestinian state on 1967 borders, under full Palestinian sovereignty, we will support it," he continued.

Haniyeh's statement followed similar remarks by the exiled leader, Khaled Meshaal, who stated that Hamas 'will not obstruct' a two-state settlement. Senior Hamas official Salah Bardawil described Meshaal's comments as coming from "Hamas' new policy."

The Arab world translates Obama's Cairo speech as a change in American policy, and so does Hamas.

Hamas Political Bureau Director Khaled Mashal: "Hamas will not be an obstacle to a peace agreement in the 1967 borders, Hamas will be a positive element helping to reach a solution that is fair to the Palestinians and will enable them to realize their rights."

In response, high-ranking Hamas figure Salah Bardawil told Makor Rishon-Hatzofe, "Mashal disclosed the first details of Hamas's new policy, as a factor that will act in the framework of a Palestinian government, after there is Palestinian unity, and in the framework of the Mecca agreement."

(snip)

He said that the new compromising American policy had an effect: "Khaled Mashal, after Obama's visit and the change in policy being led by Obama, said this with the goal of showing the world the real problem, which is Israel's attitude.

(snip)

Regarding the possibility of recognizing Israel, Bardawil provided a headline when he clearly said, "a Palestinian state is a condition for recognition. Peace is built stone by stone, at this point the Palestinian nation has left its land and lives in Gaza and the West Bank separately, what is left of our land is under occupation, and then there is a separation fence and the settlements that are growing. Talk of peace in exchange for peace, or plans that Netanyahu and Lieberman are leading that relate to the Palestinians like a small group, are not talk of peace. The fact is that Israel has not spoken up until now about a situation of two states, only the US."

(snip)

Asked if the Palestinian state with Hamas would recognize the State of Israel, he said yes, "If our demand is met and a Palestinian state is established, we will recognize Israel, because we will have a state and they will have a state. At the moment, the situation is that one state controls another state."

As the world, and especially the Obama administration, is taking off the blindfolds, these proclamations by Hamas are unequivocal in their support for a two-state solution, even though they are receiving less media exposure than Netanyahu's rejection of peace on the basis of the old land for peace formula. In the view of Heathlander, Netanyahu is out there again peddling his "limited Palestinian state nonsense" which goes as far back as 1996 and the A Clean Break document written by American Neocons.

A "limited Palestinian state" is nothing less than a dependent Apartheid state. This fact cannot be repeated more.

According to Heathlander, "Hamas's alleged intransigence has been used as a pretext to isolate and overthrow an elected government, subject an occupied people to 'possibly the most rigorous form of international sanctions ... in modern times,' and rain down bombs and missiles upon a defenceless civilian population for years on end."

"Hamas is far closer to accepting a two-state settlement than either Israel or the US."

Tags: Gaza, Hamas, Israel, Netanyahu, obama, Palestine (all tags)

Comments

22 Comments

Re: Hamas to accept independent Palestinian state

This statement from Hamas is understandable:

"If our demand is met and a Palestinian state is established, we will recognize Israel, because we will have a state and they will have a state. At the moment, the situation is that one state controls another state."

In the late 1980s, twenty years ago, Arafat, as leader of the PLO, recognized Israel. But what good did it do him or the Palestinians. With the signing of the Oslo Accords, Arafat was permitted into the Palestinian territories, mostly in order to control Areas A and B, but not Area C in the West Bank. Area C surrounds Jerusalem, later to be extended by suburbs and adjacent cities. Oslo was really built on the Alon Plan, which asserted that Israel could take 40-50% of the Palestinian territories. It was a hoax: the Palestinians recognize Israel, but Israel only recognizes what Netanyahu now refers to a "limited Palestinian state" in a portion of the territories that would leave the Palestinians submerged in cantons or enclaves, or, to be more reality oriented, living in bantustans.

Bill Clinton promoted this Oslo conception and permitted the rate and number of settlers moving into the Palestinian territories to DOUBLE, making him the one president more culpable than any other including Bush II, for creating the obstacles to a sovereign Palestinian state, and for creating the impasse Obama now confronts: the settlements, the villages, towns, and large cities Israel has built on the West Bank.

And now Netanyahu wants to continue the settlement building process, the colonialism that has been taking place since 1967.

by MainStreet 2009-06-20 06:09AM | 0 recs
rhetoric poke

I'll call you Bibi and raise you one?  what's Bibi to say, they don't really mean it? that would make for a laugh, if the stakes weren't so deadly.  

by anna shane 2009-06-21 10:28AM | 0 recs
God bless Bill Clinton

as he did help set the two state plan into motion. Sorry he didn't give terrorist Arafat all he wanted, or allow his Trojan Horse to invade the Jewish State. See, he knew how to get Israel to the table. Natural growth should be allowed. Don't forget tho, if more than just natty growth occurred during his term, Bibi was PM for some time. But Israel won, and the P's have to accept this. Israel will never allow the Trojan Horse called right of return, except maybe in terms of money reparations, which is OK.

Palestine will have its state when it listens to this guy. Right of return is whats stopping the Palestinians. Sorry, but Israel is never going away. Ever.

by Lakrosse 2009-06-21 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: God bless Bill Clinton

Do you believe that Palestinians should also be able to receive building permits to accommodate their families' and communities' natural growth?

by Strummerson 2009-06-21 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: God bless Bill Clinton

Yes, in whatever winds up being the Palestinian state - so long as it does not infringe upon whatever winds up being the Israeli state. But for now I think the issue is that you have nearly 500,000 Israelis in these communities - and the reality is that any peace deal is going to leave them alone.  If Israel completely withdraws from settlements in the West Bank, I will be as shocked as if the Nationals win the pennant, or if the RNC finally succeeds in deporting all "illegal immigrants".

by mikes101 2009-06-21 07:26PM | 0 recs
Re: God bless Bill Clinton

What about in East Jerusalem?  

And why should Jews in settlements be able to continue accommodating their natural growth while Palestinians continue to be denied the same in their neighborhoods and villages?

I was in East Jerusalem last week.  I have friends who live in Maaleh Adumim.  It's unmistakable whose need is greater.  And Palestinians homes continue to be demolished.  This does not promote the peace and welfare of Palestinians or Jews.

by Strummerson 2009-06-21 07:48PM | 0 recs
Re: God bless Bill Clinton

I don't think East Jerusalem will wind up being part of Palestine, but who knows.

I don't think that Palestinians should be denied permits in areas that are likely to be conceded to them - nor should Jews in areas which are likely to remain part of Israel proper.

In other cases, expansion and settlements should be discouraged - Palestinian or Jewish - in areas which are unlikely to remain under Jewish or Palestinian control - including East Jerusalem.

Of course, if Israel is going to concede East Jerusalem as part of a peace deal, then strike everything I just said!  I think Israel holds more of the cards as to who is ultimately going to get what land....

by mikes101 2009-06-21 08:18PM | 0 recs
Re: God bless Bill Clinton

But there are needs right now.  Let's assume that the Palestinians give up on East Jerusalem, which I think highly unlikely, unnecessary, and unjust.  Unless the Palestinians of East Jerusalem are going to be thrown out into the Palestinian pseudo-State, there will be continuity of their community under direct (as opposed to slightly indirect) Israeli rule.  Shouldn't they be able to build homes legally?

My point is that natural growth needs to cut both ways or not at all.  It seems flat out wrong to enable one community to build and squeeze the other until after a deal is finalized.  Either all building needs to be frozen across the board until then, or it needs to be treated with equal respect.

by Strummerson 2009-06-21 08:46PM | 0 recs
Re: God bless Bill Clinton

I disagree that East Jerusalem is likely to be in Palestinian hands when all is said and done - nor do I have any moral qualms with Israel possessing a unified city of Jerusalem.

I also disagree that all building needs to be frozen across the board until peace is reached - when will that be?  3 months from now?  3 years?  In the meantime, Israel is in the driver seat IMHO - they can do what they want - obviously if peace is the ultimate goal then there are some limits to what they can / will do in the settlements and with regards to the Palestinians.  What you are suggesting just isn't going to happen the way things are going now...

by mikes101 2009-06-21 08:53PM | 0 recs
Re: God bless Bill Clinton

I didn't write that the Palestinians end up controlling East Jerusalem, though I think that is the most just, and potentially necessary outcome.  I granted your position for the sake of argument that EJ will remain under direct Israeli control.  

My point is that arguing for "natural growth" for only Jews, when the practical Palestinian needs are both more pressing and institutionally neglected, is not just, nor is it productive for peace.

by Strummerson 2009-06-21 10:40PM | 0 recs
Re: God bless Bill Clinton

There's an argument that it is better to move towards an end-state as soon as possible (when, presumably, both Israelis and Palestinians will enjoy property rights), even if it means the settlements continue to expand for the next little while, as opposed to consuming lots of effort on "pre-negotiations" designed to suspend natural growth for the duration...

by Steve M 2009-06-21 09:17PM | 0 recs
Re: God bless Bill Clinton

One of the most important confidence building measures that Israel can begin to undertake (along with allowing food, medicine and building supplies into Gaza) would be a U-turn on the policies that restrict the granting of building permits to Palestinians and a "freeze" on house demolitions.  Unfortunately, the current mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, is an uber-hawk on this issue.  The natural growth argument is particularly destructive to diplomatic progress while these one-sided policies continue.  Palestinians need placed to live and kindergartens even more pressingly than the settlers do at this point.  Not only is building restricted for pure political reasons, their properties are consistently subjected to demolition for the same.  Those who support Israel and object to descriptions of these policies as "colonialist" and tantamount to "ethnic cleansing" should be calling for a change here in order to diminish the resemblance.  If Lakrosse doesn't want to be accused of supporting "apartheid" s/he should fight the material basis for that analogy.

by Strummerson 2009-06-21 11:17PM | 0 recs
Re: God bless Bill Clinton

The Palestinians will never sign off on a Likud vision of the "Palestinian state." And I also think that Barak is incorrect when he claimed that we will be surprised at Netayahu. Netanyahu is not a peacemaker. He has become an Alonist, meaning he will offer the Palestinians an Apartheid state and nothing more on something less than 40-50% of the West Bank, plus the other nonstarters.

by MainStreet 2009-06-22 01:20AM | 0 recs
Re: God bless Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton set the Alon Plan into motion, based on the antiLikud assumption that the world would never permit a transfer of Palestinians out of the territories, essentially another ethnic cleansing ala 1948, which the Likuds believed possible.

The Trojan Horse analogy just doesn't suit the situation. Try another. UN Resolution 194 is international law, as is 242 and 338.

by MainStreet 2009-06-21 03:43PM | 0 recs
you mean the Allon Plan?

which would give Judea and Samaria back to Jordan? I don't remember Clinton having anything to do with that. Elaborate.

Also, there is no international law which states Israel MUST let a Trojan Horse of refugees in. Hell, the definition of Palestinian refugee is even different than the definition of all other refugees.

Sorry the Palestinian Arabs tried to ethnically cleanse the Jews first. The Jews weren't having another Holocaust. And there was no "ethnic cleansing." If there was, it was the least successful in history. But then again, it was the Arab leaders who ethnically cleansed the area of Arabs, because the Jews were insulting Islam.

Are you Palestinian? Either that, or you just hate Israel, or you read radical nuts like Norman Finkelstein.

by Lakrosse 2009-06-21 04:36PM | 0 recs
Re: you mean the Allon Plan?

If you only understood just how anti-Israel your positions are.  Bibi and his supporters are leading the Jews here in the land of Israel into a very dark place.  What he is doing threatens us not just politically and economically, but culturally and morally.  He seeks an unsustainable situation where a Jewish minority de facto rules a Palestinian majority.  However you read the events of 70 years ago will not change that.

by Strummerson 2009-06-21 07:54PM | 0 recs
Re: you mean the Allon Plan?

I don't think Netanyahu is as dumb as his detractors think he is.  I can't say I understand his end-game or anything, but I don't think he envisions a 2 state solution where Jews are the minority in their own state.  

Supposedly, the US is about to make concessions to Israel on the settlements question - formal concessions - after years of "wink wink nod nod" with W. and Condi.  So.... I'm still not convinced of this "very dark place" you speak of.

by mikes101 2009-06-21 08:21PM | 0 recs
Re: you mean the Allon Plan?

That's pure speculation, which doesn't mean it will turn out to be wrong.  But I'm going on what Bibi has consistently evinced and his ideological background.  Betting on intelligence to provide a positive outcome has proven dubious throughout history.

by Strummerson 2009-06-21 08:41PM | 0 recs
Re: you mean the Allon Plan?

So you do not think that Bibi actually favors an independent Palestinian state?  Based on his speech last week and Obama's reaction thus far, it appears the US now agrees that Bibi favors a 2-state solution, with strict conditions for the Palestinian state.  I for one have no problems with most of these conditions (unified Jerusalem, demilitarized Palestine, etc).

I think if we bet on intelligence throughout history, we'd be in much better shape than we're in now!  Adlai Stevenson and Al Gore as president - huzzah - I would take that any day over the alternatives we've elected!

by mikes101 2009-06-21 08:57PM | 0 recs
Re: you mean the Allon Plan?

I don't think that what Bibi described in his speech approaches any credible description as "independent."  

Obama's public diplomatic response was correct for his role and appropriate positioning.  I don't think that we, on the other hand, who are in a completely different position, should read Bibi uncritically.

I'm glad you have few problems with all of Bibi's pre-conditions.  But you don't have to live with them.  It's just a continuation of Israel trying to dictate the parameters of Palestinian national and civil rights.  They find this intolerable and I think they have a compelling case.  I simply think it both unethical and ultimately unrealistic to expect them to surrender to Israeli perspectives and priorities.

As for intelligence throughout history, I think it guarantees nothing.  We've witnessed many brilliant individuals support, initiate, and carry out terrible atrocities.  While Bill Kristol is an idiot, I don't think the same is true of his father Irving, one of the fathers of the neo-conservative movement and an unquestionably brilliant man.  One can be intelligent and still promote unworkable and/or unethical policies.  So my point here is that you'll need to provide something more than an invocation of Bibi's intelligence on Bibi's behalf and to lend any credibility to his perspectives and policies.  I think both are embalmed in an ideological fog that obscures political reality and moral imperatives.  His outlook is generally neo-conservative.  

Bibi sees history primarily as a menace that must be opposed, that may be invoked primarily to justify aggression and chauvinism, and that anyone envisioning a way to avoid repeating the calamities of the past is dangerously naive.  What this ensures is that those calamities will continue.  Irving Kristol famously defined a neo-conservative as a "liberal who got mugged by history" and a neo-liberal as a "liberal who got mugged by history and decided not to press charges."  Bibi is someone who believes that Jews have been mugged enough and now have the right and obligation to make sure that we are the muggers.  I want the mugging to stop.  If there is going to be violence either way, I'd rather it be in the name of breaking a cycle of violence by not taking it as a given and through reflecting on its mechanisms in order to create better ones.  And furthermore, muggers often end up brutalized in prison in the end anyway.

by Strummerson 2009-06-21 10:55PM | 0 recs
Re: you mean the Allon Plan?

The "dark place" is Apartheid.

by MainStreet 2009-06-22 01:22AM | 0 recs
Sari Nusseibeh

I have been an admirer of Nusseibeh's for years.  But I hardly think you'd be happy with him.  Have you actually read anything he's ever written?  I'd highly recommend you look at his recent memoir, Once Upon A Country, which I have recommended many many times in these threads.  His historical narrative and yours do not agree on much.  And though he believes it would be in the interests of a Palestinian state to remain largely demilitarized, he will not concede East Jerusalem, the Jordan valley, nor will he accept the other restrictions on Palestinian national and civil rights.  I'm glad you are interested in him.  I'd be thrilled if you remained so after familiarizing yourself with his moral and sane positions as well as his critiques of Zionist narratives and history.

by Strummerson 2009-06-22 03:21AM | 0 recs

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