Israel won’t negotiate with Hamas –



Olmert: Israel won’t negotiate with Hamas – Mideast/N. Africa –


Does this really surprise anyone? Not me. I can’t say I really blame them either. For decades now, Hamas has been advocating and attempting to have Israel both destroyed and wiped off the face of the earth. By what right they claim that escapes me.

I once worked with a Palestinian man who also could not understand why all the continued hatred there. Maybe we need to look back and see why and hopefully you will discover, as I did, that Israel isn’t the bad guy they have been made out to be.

Before and after WW1, Israel was part of a section of the Middle East known as Palestine. Arab and Jew lived together in this land, although not as peacefully as they should have. That battle dates all the way back to Biblical Times, long before Jesus walked the earth. Still, for centuries, they lived amongst each other under the Ottoman Empire. That Empire ended with WW1 and the nations that claimed victory in that cease fire, or Armistice, if you will, decided to carve up the Ottoman Empire and separate the Jews and Arabs seeing how they could not get along.

Under the Balfour Agreement, it was decided that all land West of the Jordan River would be Jewish and the rest Arab. Then, Oil was found. Arabs balked at Jews getting a decent portion of Middle East land and attacks against each other continued. The Depression hit and the Balfour Agreement ended up being largely ignored. Of course, soon after that, WW2 happened and we all know about the Holocaust and the decimation of Jewish people, as well as others, in the Nazi Death Camps.

After the war, Jews still desired a homeland of their own and the oldest claim to that stretch of land was the Jews from Biblical Times. Still Israel had to fight to become a nation and the Arabs themselves were prepared to stop them. During this time, Palestinian Arabs remained within the borders of what was to become Israel while other Arabs ignored and reviled them; not one Arab nation would take them in, but used them as the tool to say Israel stole Palestine from the Arabs.

The various wars since the very day after Israel was granted independence and afterwards are also well known. However, it seems the world has forgotten that Israel was attacked by vastly superior Arab forces in 1967 and ended up succeeding in capturing the contested lands the world is now demanding Israel "give back." They weren’t stolen and occupied; they were captured while under attack.

Hamas was formed to battle Israel and has vowed to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Now, the Palestinian people after being given some of the contest lands back to form his or her own Palestine, have elected a majority Hamas government. To me, Israel rightfully refuses to negotiate with these known terrorists who have claimed numerous suicide attacks that has resulted in the deaths of too many Jews, Westerners and even Arabs. Hamas has shown little, if any, desire for peaceful coexistence. That is why I say their have "righteous indignation" over this election, considering another Arab nation has a President also vowing to wipe Israel off the face of the earth and is highly suspected of seeking and building nuclear weapons.

Still, all is not totally lost with this election, I feel. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas suggests that negotiations with Israel be conducted through the PLO, possibly bypassing a Hamas-led government. “I am committed to implementing the program on which you elected me a year ago,” he said in a televised speech. “It is a program based on negotiations and peaceful settlement with Israel.”

President Bush said, “Peace is never dead,” But added, “if your platform is the destruction of Israel, it means you’re not a partner in peace, and we’re interested in peace.”

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said, “If the people of Palestine have expressed their will by voting for Hamas, we should respect it and give Hamas a chance to prove itself while in government."

The onus is now on Hamas. Will they be accepted by laying down arms and reaching back towards Israel and seek Peace? Will they step up attacks on Israel, being bolstered by the talk of destroying Israel by the President of Iran? I couldn’t even begin to guess what will happen. Still words from Hamas itself today don’t leave me feeling secure in what will develop.

"Throughout the campaign, leaders sent mixed signals, hinting they could be open to some sort of accommodation with Israel. Its apparent victory will now force it to take a clearer position on key issues, including whether to abandon its violent ideology.

Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas candidate who won election in the northern Gaza Strip, said peace talks and recognition of Israel are “not on our agenda” but the group is ready for a partnership — presumably with Abbas."

I can only pray that matters over there be resolved before we end up in a nuclear war because two peoples simply can’t get along when there is ample land available for both to just live and leave each other the hell alone.






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