Hamas and Israel's Targeted Killings

Israel has announced that Hamas political leaders will not be immune from targeted killings if Hamas renews attacks on Israel. (See here) a BBC News article that reports on this.

Please note that left unsaid is that Israel will not hold Hamas accountable if it continues to honor the cease fire (or Hudna). While leaders of Islamic Jihad will be held accountable for the actions of Islamic Jihad, Israel will not strike out against Hamas for Islamic Jihad's actions.

This is the position of the Kadima led Israeli government. I think I support PM Olmert and Kadima on this. While Israel can not be expected to negotiate with a group that will only engage in negotiations as a partial step towards their ultimate goal, which is driving the Jews into the sea, it should allow this group time to come to their senses as long as they honor the cease fire. However this group must also allow Israel to attack any groups within Palestine that refuse to honor the Hudna. If Hamas has a problem with this then they need to become self policing and enforce the Hudna within their own society. If they will not enforce it themselves, then they should not object if Israel does the enforcing.

Olmert has also announced that Israeli government funds will be cut off to settlement expansion. (See here) this Haaretz article that reports on this. I look at this Kadima and PM Olmert position as signs of progress. It is an acknowledgement of the international communities opinion that unrestrained settlement expansion during the absence of a final resolution of the conflict is unacceptable. Israel should not be allowed to continue with unfettered expansion of settlements absent a final agreement. Those within Israel who are motivated to hinder a peace agreement should not receive any reward (continuing expansion) for any actions they take to prevent a resolution.

(See here) a Haaretz editorial that discusses the Kadima position that, absent a genuine partner for peace in Palestine, Israel must adopt a position of unilateral withdrawal. I am rather torn by this position. I find this stance to be preferable to the status quo. However I do not think it is the wisest course of action. For the international community to be satisfied, Israel is not going to be allowed to dictate the terms of the final settlement. Either Israel is going to have to accept some international approval of a final agreement through UN Security Council action or they are going to have to find someone to negotiate with. Final "agreement" will not be reached through Israel dictating all the terms.

Since Hamas is not in a negotiating mood, who could Israel negotiate with? Seems to me the Arab League might be such a "partner for peace". Even Saudi Arabia is somewhat reasonable in her proposals. Perhaps Israel will not find everything in the Saudi proposal as being acceptable, but I doubt the Saudis would describe everything in the Israeli position as being acceptable either.

What would Israel need to agree to in order to win international support? Well something along the lines of the Geneva Accords proposed settlement is what I envision. Anything Israel tries to force on "the world" is not going to win the war of opinion. Something like the Geneva Accord settlement will win this war of international opinion. I would imagine it would win acceptance by the UN Security Council and perhaps even support from the Arab League. However if Israel tries to hold out from "a position of strength" for an unreasonable result, Israel will find her "strength" position eroding to weakness.

The Palestinians voted for Hamas. The Palestinian people voted for driving the Jews into the sea. Since the Palestinians voted for the unreasonable, and the people they voted for, thus far, can not adapt to reality, we just cut them out of the equation. But that does not mean we need give up on a solution, and that does not mean we need to allow Israel to take advantage of the situation.

Palestine voted. Palestine voted for Hamas. Palestine wins a big thumbs down. Thus far Israel seems poised to vote for Kadima. Kadima (at least in comparison to Hamas) wins a big thumbs up.


Post a Comment

<< Home