Westerners may be stupid, but Hamas is not. It sees the new American administration making overtures to Iran and Syria. It sees Europe, led by Britain, beginning to accept Hezbollah. It sees itself as next in line. And it knows what to do. Yasser Arafat wrote the playbook.As far as Israeli acceptance of the two-state solution, Krauthammer addresses the absurdity of the claim that Israel is avoiding peace:
With the 1993 Oslo accords, he showed what can be achieved with a fake peace treaty with Israel -- universal diplomatic recognition, billions of dollars of aid, and control of Gaza and the West Bank, which Arafat turned into an armed camp. In return for a signature, he created in the Palestinian territories the capacity to carry on the war against Israel that the Arab states had begun in 1948 but had given up after the bloody hell of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. [emphasis added]
Of all the phony fights to pick with Israel. No Israeli government would turn down a two-state solution in which the Palestinians accepted territorial compromise and genuine peace with a Jewish state. (And any government that did would be voted out in a day.) Netanyahu's own defense minister, Ehud Barak, offered precisely such a deal in 2000. He even offered to divide Jerusalem and expel every Jew from every settlement remaining in the new Palestine.
The Palestinian response (for those who have forgotten) was: No. And no counteroffer. Instead, nine weeks later, Arafat unleashed a savage terror war that killed 1,000 Israelis. [emphasis added]
Now the argument for the two-state solution has been reduced to alternately labeling Netanyahu a right wing extremist and arguing that Israel needs to be pushed into setting up a second Palestinian state as soon as possible.
On that point Krauthammer writes:
Netanyahu is reluctant to agree to a Palestinian state before he knows what kind of state it will be. That elementary prudence should be shared by anyone who's been sentient the last three years. The Palestinians already have a state, an independent territory with not an Israeli settler or soldier living on it. It's called Gaza. And what is it? A terror base, Islamist in nature, Iranian-allied, militant and aggressive, that has fired more than 10,000 rockets and mortar rounds at Israeli civilians.The fact that Israel's security concerns with the establishment of a Palestinian state and the ability of such a state to survive at this point--raises questions about the motivations of those who are pushing for this 'solution'.
If this is what a West Bank state is going to be, it would be madness for Israel or America or Jordan or Egypt or any other moderate Arab country to accept such a two-state solution. Which is why Netanyahu insists that the Palestinian Authority first build institutions -- social, economic and military -- to anchor a state that could actually carry out its responsibilities to keep the peace.
Do they really care about the future of these Palestinian Arabs, or is that merely a secondary concern in the face of what such a state at this point will do to Israel?