POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY MOUSA MARZOOK IN THE GUARDIAN
There is no more realistic opportunity for peace than Israel's talking to Hamas.
Just in the act of doing so, Israel would be recognizing that there are other interests involved beside its own.
And it is Israel's refusal to recognize that there other interests involved that has prevented any chance at peace for half a century.
Israel has never turned from its harsh policy of "the iron wall," an expression taken from an early Zionist and adopted as its official attitude towards Arabic neighbors.
It seems almost bizarre that the mainstream press never questions Israel's absolute demands and attitudes, as the one that all parties must come to the peace table having already agreed to a whole list of Israel's demands in advance. This is an irrational position, yet it goes unquestioned as though it were perfectly reasonable.
I think there is more chance for a meaningful long-term peace in talking with Hamas than in continuing with the long charade with Fatah, an organization that has lost much of its credibility with Palestinians through its corruption and through accepting Israel's contempt and treatment as inferiors.
All issues do not need to be settled to have peace. Over the coming decades, two nations can gradually build respect and trust. I don't see any other way to peace actually.
But then many in Israel still do not want peace. Greater Israel still beckons. Netanyahu, a man who has expressed in public his utter contempt for Palestinians, is staging a political come-back.
Much or all of the West's troubles since 9/11 stem from America's completely one-sided support for Israel, effectively showing contempt for Arab interests. A settlement would go a long way towards a more peaceful future for everyone.