Capture the spirit of peace

Latest round of Mideast talks won't succeed unless hate is marginalized

 

It's as we've long believed and often stated: Palestinians aren't yet committed to peace with Israel.

That much was made clear enough again this past week when Palestinian terrorists killed four Israelis on the eve of landmark Mideast peace talks at the White House -- and when the unrepentant leader of Hamas weighed in.

"Today marks the start of direct negotiations between someone who has no right to represent the Palestinian people and the brutal occupier, to provide a cover for Judaizing Jerusalem and stealing the land," Mahmoud Zahar said in denouncing efforts at peace.

This is not from a mere interested observer; Hamas rules the Gaza Strip.

Hamas vowed to continue "resistance operations" -- a euphemism for terrorism against innocent civilians.

The best hope for peace appears to be if Hamas's blatant terror during peace talks only ends up isolating the terrorist rulers of Gaza. If other countries, and the United Nations, don't openly condemn and marginalize Hamas now, then peace efforts are doomed from the start.

The rival Palestinian faction, Fatah, which governs the West Bank area, instituted a crackdown on Hamas militants in its midst after the murder of the Israelis Tuesday. Let's hope the crackdown isn't purely for show, and that the militants won't simply be let loose when the world stops watching.

Peace-loving Palestinians, as the Fatah party's Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas claims to be, might find -- if they can throw off their hatred of Jews -- that they have much in common with their Israeli neighbors that they don't share with their colleagues in Hamas.

Still, it must be said that even Fatah -- the more moderate Palestinian faction, which is now at the table with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington -- calls in its constitution for "complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence." Not a promising foundation for peace.

The Palestinian people must, once and for all, decide whether they want to make peace with Israel or continue making war. One would hope other Arab nations -- Jordan's King Abdullah and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak are at the Washington talks -- would tip the scales in favor of recognition of, and peace with, Israel.

Abdullah's father, King Hussein, worked quietly for years with his Israeli counterparts to win peace in 1994. A year later, the Jordanian king sincerely grieved the loss of a "brother" when Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin died. "We became brethren and friends," Hussein said of Rabin.

We see the same spirit of brotherhood in Hussein's son. If only the spirit would descend on those now at the table.

Hamas' bloodlust should only inspire it.

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Sun, 12/04/2016 - 18:09

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