Mort Zuckerman | Gaza Ceasefire Doesn’t Solve the Fundamental Problem

Gaza is a tragedy in three  dimensions. Innocent people die. The stalemate on a West Bank agreement  hardens. World attention is diverted from the crimes of the Assad regime in  Syria and Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon. Any prospect of reversing  these setbacks depends crucially on an appreciation of how we got to this  dangerously untenable place.

There is not the slightest shadow  of a doubt who is to blame. It is Hamas, the Islamist terrorist organization  beholden to its paymasters in Tehran. Hamas is dedicated by its charter to the  destruction of Israel. In April 1993, it gave the world the suicide bomber.  Later that year, Yassir Arafat for the Palestinian Liberation Organization and  Yitzhak Rabin for Israel signed the Oslo Accords, affording a measure of  self-government to the Palestinian Authority, which was responsible for West  Bank and Gaza. Hamas denounced the peace agreement. It stepped up its vile  campaign of suicide bombing and the United States identified it as a Foreign  Terrorist Organization. In 2005, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in a  typically bold move, ended military occupation of Gaza and the world applauded.  The Palestinians, divided in allegiance between the more secular Fatah and  ideological Islamists of Hamas, could not unite to make the best of their  opportunity to create a viable state. Both sides murdered perceived enemies.  Hamas built a better social network than a corrupt Fatah, but it was Hamas that  sabotaged whatever slim chances there were that a united Gaza would flourish as  an independent entity. In a symbolic rejection of a path to peace, its thugs  wrecked the greenhouse businesses left by the reluctantly departing Israeli settlers.


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