Fantasy-based policymaking reigns supreme in Washington. “Why Isn’t Kerry Listening to What the Radicals Are Saying?,” by Khaled Abu Toameh at the Gatestone Institute, December 10:
As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pursues his efforts to reach a peace agreement between the Palestinian Authority [PA] leadership and Israel, Hamas reaffirmed that it would not honor any deal that does not meet its goals.
The Hamas announcement serves as a reminder that any US-brokered deal between Israel and the PA will not mean the end of the conflict.
In fact, PA President Mahmoud Abbas is not in a position to sign any document that calls for an end to the conflict with Israel.
Abbas has no control over the Gaza Strip, which has been under the rule of Hamas since the summer of 2007. Any agreement he signs with Israel would only apply to those areas under the control of the PA, in the West Bank or territories handed over to him by Israel.
Hamas is not the only Palestinian party that would reject any U.S.-sponsored agreement. Most of the PLO groups, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, have already expressed their opposition to the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
This is in addition to other radical Palestinian groups that do not belong to the PLO, first and foremost Islamic Jihad.
“The Palestinians are not bound by any agreement that results from the current negotiations [between Israel and the PA] and which harm Palestinian rights,” said Hamas’s top leader in the Gaza Strip, Mahmoud Zahar. “The Palestinian negotiators have no legitimacy and are not authorized to speak on behalf of the Palestinians.”
Zahar claimed that Abbas and his Fatah faction were negotiating with Israel only because of American pressure and to ensure continued Western funding for the Palestinian Authority.
Even senior Fatah officials seem to agree with Zahar’s assessment. Over the past few months, some of these officials, such as Sufian Abu Zaida, Hussam Khader and Mohammed Dahlan, have not hesitated to come out in public against the peace talks and any future agreement with Israel.
Given Hamas’ announcement that it would not honor or recognize any deal signed between the PA and Israel, Kerry needs to take into account that any peace agreement will not put an end to the conflict….