The Hamas Deal Poisons Peace Talks – Yaron Sideman
(from dailyalert.org, May 2, 2014)
At the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and what makes it so difficult to resolve, are two diametrically opposed national movements and narratives, both claiming ownership to the same piece of land. In order for reconciliation to occur and a path toward peace to be forged, both sides need to make painful compromises that include giving up parts of their narratives.
Long before maps are unfurled and borders discussed, it is critically important that a basic pillar be firmly established on both sides: recognizing the fundamental right of the other side to exist, whatever the final borders. That recognition must start from the top, but it has to become embedded in the collective mindset of the people. It is the basis that will support any future agreement. Without it, no agreement can hold.
This is why when one party chooses to align itself with a terrorist organization that does not recognize the right of the other to exist, and which openly calls for its destruction, it deals a death blow to attempts at reconciliation and to any prospect of peace. How can Israeli citizens seriously be expected to have confidence that the Palestinian leadership really wants peace, when it teams up with an organization that repeatedly calls for their death?
The writer is Israel’s consul general to the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S., based in Philadelphia.(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)