Palestinian Politics after the Gaza Conflict

(Fathom-BICOM) Ben Cohen interviews David Pollock - Common to Hamas and Islamic State is the existence of an "uncompromising goal and the adoption of violent means towards that goal. A commitment to jihad, in one form or another, is shared by Hamas and IS." "The idea that Hamas could moderate, or that there are moderates in Hamas who could somehow be enticed into the peace process, is a fantasy. It's in the very nature of Hamas to insist that there can never be peace with Israel, that there can only be tactical ceasefires - what they call in Arabic a 'hudna.' Permanent peace with Israel is just not acceptable. They have never varied from that position, and I don't see any sign that they could ever vary from that position." "Hamas is an old-fashioned jihadi terrorist organization. Some people say, 'well, it won an election,' and so it did. Once. But that doesn't make it any less radical, or terrorist, or violent, or jihadi, or rejectionist." "I have found in my own discussions with some European diplomats and other officials, that they'll say, 'Israel should just withdraw even if the Palestinians give nothing in return.' My answer to that is, 'number one, it's never gonna happen, number two, equally important, it means that there will never be peace.' So if you want peace, then you shouldn't encourage that attitude." "Some Palestinian leaders view international pressure against Israel as a legitimate tool....The problem is that it's so one-sided and inflammatory that, from a Palestinian perspective, it's self-defeating. They drive the Israeli public and the Israeli government further away from imagining that concrete territorial concessions to the Palestinians can be made." "If the Palestinians are indulging in that kind of antagonistic rhetoric, avoiding negotiations and turning to outside pressure instead, then the Israelis can be forgiven for concluding that they don't really have a good partner for peace. So in the end, I think the result really is to perpetuate the conflict rather than to move to any kind of resolution." David Pollock, a fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, served in senior State Department positions during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.

2014-10-31 00:00:00

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