Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Baskin B*ll

I had had an exchange with Baskin previously that I put up on this blog.

Well, he's back, this time in a JPost op-ed.

Here's just the beginning:-

Almost all of my Palestinian colleagues tell me that Hamas will change. They say that once Hamas has the burden of governing they will have to become more pragmatic. They speak of the process of change that they themselves went through.

In 1976 together with a small group of Zionist students in New York I had a clandestine meeting with the PLO ambassador to the United Nations attempting to convince him to support the two-state solution and to recognize Israel. His response was "over my dead body." At that point I realized that until the PLO made the decision to support the two-state solution there was no basis for dialogue. In March 1988 shortly after the outbreak of the first intifada, reading the flyers of the Unified Leadership of the Intifada which called for ending the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, I came to the conclusion that the PLO had changed.

In November 1988, the PLO made that change official at the meeting of the Palestine National Council in Algiers. In early 1988 I began working on the establishment of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information, a joint Israeli-Palestinian public policy think-tank in order to advance the two-state solution.

And another excerpt:

It may take time for the Hamas to meet Israeli conditions for negotiations. Hamas will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state - I cannot say Fatah ever recognized Israel as a Jewish state.

I think that Hamas will be pressured by the Arab world to support the Arab League peace initiative which calls for Israel to withdraw to the 1967 lines, in return for which Israel will be recognized by the entire Arab world who would sign peace treaties with Israel.

Hamas, at this time is not interested in a mini-Palestinian state in part of the West Bank and Gaza with provisional borders as called for in Phase II of the road map. Hamas is not interested in negotiations with Israel.

Despite the comments of Khaled Mashal against the Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's plan for unilateral disengagement from most of the West Bank, Hamas has no real problem with that plan.

Hamas will not oppose any Israeli decision to withdraw or to remove settlements. My friend, the PA minister, tells me that since the Palestinian elections Hamas has toned down what he called "the culture of resistance." He says that Hamas is now speaking much more about "steadfastness" - the same term used by Fatah during the 1970s and 1980s.

This is so much b*llsh*t. And he's a "peace activist".

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