By Shimon Z. Klein

The Mecca Agreement that had been signed by Hamas and Fatah under the mediation of Saudi Arabia seems to be working as far as cessation of violence between Hamas and Fatah is concerned, if nothing else. How long this will last is anybody’s guess. There are a number of inadequacies in this agreement. Some that comes to mind, from the Israeli point of view, are the ambivalent attitudes towards recognition of Israel’s right to exist, and cessation of terror against Israel. Was this intentional in order to cow-tow to Hamas? Possibly!

The moderate Arab States have an important role to play in ensuring that the Mecca Agreement will work. They could make it clear to Hamas that they must be prepared to recognize Israel’s right to exist, cease terror against Israel and release the kidnapped Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit. Obviously, the latter will only occur once the conditions of a prisoner exchange, to which both Palestinians and Israelis could agree, are met. So far, the Saudis and the moderate Arab States have not pressurized Hamas to cease their violence. 
 

The moderate Arab States have an important role to play in ensuring that the Mecca Agreement will work. They could make it clear to Hamas that they must be prepared to recognize Israel’s right to exist, cease terror against Israel and release the kidnapped Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit. Obviously, the latter will only occur once the conditions of a prisoner exchange, to which both Palestinians and Israelis could agree, are met. So far, the Saudis and the moderate Arab States have not pressurized Hamas to cease their violence.  The idea of a National Unity Government of Palestine boggles the imagination about negotiations between a final settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. This will be a government speaking with two voices. A voice of a desire to negotiate a final settlement as a sop to the Quartet on the one hand, while on the other, the extremist Hamas wing has no intentions of changing their uncompromising attitude of not recognizing Israel’s right to exist and ceasing terror.
 

The moderate Arab States have an important role to play in ensuring that the Mecca Agreement will work. They could make it clear to Hamas that they must be prepared to recognize Israel’s right to exist, cease terror against Israel and release the kidnapped Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit. Obviously, the latter will only occur once the conditions of a prisoner exchange, to which both Palestinians and Israelis could agree, are met. So far, the Saudis and the moderate Arab States have not pressurized Hamas to cease their violence.  The idea of a National Unity Government of Palestine boggles the imagination about negotiations between a final settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. This will be a government speaking with two voices. A voice of a desire to negotiate a final settlement as a sop to the Quartet on the one hand, while on the other, the extremist Hamas wing has no intentions of changing their uncompromising attitude of not recognizing Israel’s right to exist and ceasing terror. 

How can Israel negotiate with the Palestinians when their leadership speaks with two voices? Which is the voice that is a true reflection of the Palestinian Authority? Will it be the moderate voice of President Mahmoud Abbas or the uncompromising voice of Hamas and its leader by proxy in Damascus, Khaled Mashal? Surely this makes negotiations for peace between Israel and the Palestinians impossible. The Hamas leadership has no objection if Mahmoud Abbas negotiates with Israel, but they do not give him the power to reach an agreement with Israel. Mahmoud Abbas remains weak and ineffectual. He will be used by Hamas in order to gain much needed funds for the Palestinians. The possibility of these funds being used for building the infrastructure and instruments of law and order that is the basis for the existence of any independent state if these funds arrive is remote under these circumstances.
 

There is no doubt that the Palestinian leadership has to get their act together and be responsible leaders in order to ensure the building of Palestine so that it can achieve independence and become a responsible member of the world of nations and all that it entails. There is much work to be done in the sphere of education, health services, creation of jobs and the achievement of economic viability. So far, Hamas has done nothing in these spheres which proves that Hamas believes in building a state that can never exist – a state based on hate for Israel and terror against its citizens – Israeli as well as Palestinian!

Hamas is a cancer in Palestinian Society. They can only survive on hate, murder, genocide and general chaos. The enemy of Hamas is prosperity for the Palestinian People. This will ensure its disappearance from the Palestinian Camp.

Responsible leadership for the Palestinians is the key to a better future and the establishment of a Palestinian State alongside Israel.

Even if Israel gives up all the occupied territories, to whom can she return these occupied lands? There is no responsible and stable Palestinian Government, who can receive these territories and rule them without being a threat to Israel’s existence. The Saudi Plan of 2002 for peace and recognition of Israel is a reasonable plan and one that is worth considering. However, this is dependent on responsible leadership elected by the Palestinians themselves who have a genuine desire to make peace with Israel.
 

The road to peace between Israel and the Arab states depends on the achievement of peace between Israel and its Palestinian neighbours. The moderate Arab States can facilitate the attainment of peace by applying pressure on Hamas to change its attitude towards Israel and begin negotiating with Israel. The U.S. has lost much credibility in the Middle East because of its failure in Iraq and Afghanistan and the total chaos that resulted in these countries. This could give more advantage for the moderate Arab states to act as facilitators in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Failure to achieve peace could cause Iran’s evil influence to increase on Hamas and become a very serious problem as well as a threat to all the peoples in the Middle East including the Palestinians.
 

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