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Naomi Ragen is an American-born novelist and playwright who has lived in Jerusalem since 1971. She has published seven internationally best-selling novels, and is the author of a hit play.

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PostMon Feb 25, 2008 5:52 pm     Five Lies about Israel, Hamas and the Peace Process    

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This excellent piece is from the unlikely named

The blogger certainly has it right. A must read.


5 Lies About Israel, Fatah, Hamas and the Peace Process

Posted: 19 Feb 2008 09:24 AM CST

Lie #1: Fatah and Abbas represent a moderate Palestinian faction
we must negotiate with while Hamas represent an extreme faction
we must alienate.

Since Hamas came to power, the vast majority of terrorist attacks
on Israelis have come from Fatah. The last several terrorist
attacks including the twin suicide bombing in a cafe in Dimona
was carried out by Fatah. Hamas has been shelling Israel from
Gaza, but it is Fatah which has been waging a terrorist campaign
inside Israel.

Hamas has been concentrating on Egypt meanwhile because it is
associated with the Muslim Brotherhood which hopes to come to
power in Egypt. That is why America views Hamas as dangerous and
extremist, because it represent a regional threat to America's
Arab allies, while Fatah is considered to be a threat only to
Israel. That is why America has taken a hard line against Hamas
but continuously forces Israel to negotiate with Fatah. Hamas is
viewed as regional Islamic while Fatah as nationalistic
Palestinian, when Israel is told that Fatah must be propped up
against Hamas, this is not in Israel's interests, it is in
Mubarak's interests.

As far as Israel is concerned, the only substantial difference
between Fatah and Hamas is that Fatah is willing to engage in
blackmail at the negotiating table while Hamas has no interest in
playing the negotiating game at this stage.

Lie #2: Only negotiations can bring peace, even in conflict,
negotiations are the best path to bring about an end to the

Peace negotiations only work when both sides are prepared to end
the fighting because they recognize that it isn't working. But
the fighting is working for the Palestinian Arabs and has been
since Day 1. The refusal to understand this is at the root of
every single lie told about the fraudulent peace process.
Terrorism has been the only negotiating tool the Fatah side has
ever used and it is the only one that they ever put on the table.
There is no reason for them to give up terrorism because it is
their best card and it keeps working and they have never been
continually penalized for playing it.

Peace works when two weary adversaries decide to give it a rest
in their own best interest. But contrary to the media portrayal,
this is a struggle between one weary adversary and one deluded
and vicious adversary. That is why the negotiations continue to
go nowhere. The Palestinian Arab side has never concluded that it
is in its own interest to stop the violence. That is why the
violence continues, often cloaked by completely implausible
denials and self-victimization. The peace process has always led
nowhere because Israeli demands for an end to the violence as a
precursor to negotiations have been discarded even by Presidents
like Bush who once gave lip service to them.

You cannot bring an end to the violence when one part has nothing
to lose and plenty to gain by continuing the violence. For 15
years it hasn't worked and it never will work.

Lie #3. A negotiated settlement is possible if we work hard
enough to achieve one based on territorial concessions

A negotiated settlement in a zero sum game simply isn't possible.
Since 1948 the struggle between Israel and the Arabs has been a
zero sum game with the Arab side set on the destruction of
Israel. Despite that fact Israel has made repeated territorial
concessions, even though Israel's own territory is the smallest
piece carved out of the territory of the Palestine Mandate that
had been set aside after WW1 for the creation of Israel.

Despite numerical superiority and vaster land and populations and
a record of starting wars with Israel, at no point in time has
any Arab state ever ceded land to Israel. By contrast Israel has
ceded land to Egypt and Jordan, proposed to cede land to Syria
and it has ceded a sizable portion of the land within its
territorial borders to the terrorists who had been attacking it
and it has proposed to cede even more land to them, including
portions of its capital.

To gain peace Israel has ceded land equivalent to 3 times its own
current size (not counting the Palestine Mandate which was 6
times Israel's current size.) And the Arab world demands that
Israel continue giving up land even though over 7 million
Israelis live on a piece of land smaller than New Hampshire with
a population density that is the 37th largest in the world,
barely behind Japan at 32nd, Rwanda at 37th and denser than Haiti
at 42nd. When eliminating islands, city states and principalities
from the list, Israel actually has the 10th highest population
density in the world behind India, Japan and Rwanda.

Twice Israel has expelled its own populations in acts of
self-ethnic cleansing virtually unparalleled in history. These
precarious withdrawals have put more of Israel's own population
on the firing line than ever resulting in Hizbullah and Hamas
shelling Israeli towns from Lebanon and Gaza. Rather than
bringing peace, these withdrawals have only made the situation
more dangerous and unstable and Israel is running out of land to
give up. Israel can only carve itself up for so long before
nothing is left.

Bush has made it clear that the return of refugees, the classic
Arab demand, is now on the agenda, which means forcibly creating
an Arab majority in Israel, the ultimate conclusion of the zero
sum game.

Lie #4 - A solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict will stabilize
the rest of the Middle East

The middle east is a stew of tribal, ethnic, political and
religious conflicts, the vast majority of which do not involve
Israel. Israel represent an infinitesimal portion of the region
in both land and population and has virtually no political
influence in the Middle East.

Sunnis are not about to embrace Shias, Islamists will not embrace
secularists, tribes will not cease their blood feuds, dictators
will not become democrats, Muslims will not learn to tolerate
Christians, countries will not cease squabbling over their
borders regardless of what happens in Israel. The Middle East has
only been unstable when it has been ruled by a strong leader or
strong leaders.

Israel does not cause the Middle East's instabilities, they
predate the modern State of Israel by many centuries. The
inherent cause of domestic instability is a lack of strong
central governments that can control the instability within their
own borders and the cause of regional instability comes from
strong central governments with an eye on their neighbor's
territory. This paradox makes the Middle East along with much of
the world, inherently unstable. Browbeating Israel will not
change human nature of move the Middle East ahead in time by
three centuries.

Lie #5 - America's support for Israel has caused resentment and
terrorism toward America which Israel is obligated to address

America's role as a superpower is what causes resentment toward
America, of which its support for Israel is only a subset.
America did not fight Saddam for Israel but for Kuwait and Saudi
Arabia, Israel only got the blame for for a war that began when
Saddam invaded a bunch of Sheiks with ties to the Bush
Administration. At no point in time has America ever fought a war
in defense of Israel. It has however fought two major wars in
defense of Arabs and American soldiers continue dying every week
to keep Iraqis safe.

Israel cannot make Arabs and Muslims like America, especially
when even America can't make them like America. Europe, which is
generally hostile toward Israel, is suffering from a terrorist
epidemic greater than that suffered by the United States. Dozens
of countries are facing serious Muslim terrorist problems, some
of which don't even have diplomatic ties to Israel.

Arab hostility toward America is multifold and would exist even
if America had never developed close ties with Israel. Indeed the
reality is that America had developed close ties to Israel
because it was unable to develop close ties with any major Arab
country. Arab government after government that the US has tried
to befriend has either been overthrown or like the Saudis have
continually stabbed America in the back. None of this is Israel's
fault and the diplomatic frustration that is being directed at
Israel will not fix the problem until the US takes a long hard
look at the Middle East and the Arab nations it is trying to

As a Non-Muslim superpower unwilling to simply hand out weapons
with no questions asked, the way Russia does, the US will never
be popular in the Middle East. But Russia's popularity nor even
its hostility to Israel has not kept its citizens and cities from
being blown up by Muslim terrorists either. It would seem that
being popular still won't keep the terrorist wolf away from your
door .



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