A Partner For Peace?

Nov 19 2012 @ 3:59pm

Nathan Brown argues that Hamas can moderate:

The most promising way to force Hamas to become more moderate is to force it to be more responsive to its own public. (As a leading Muslim Brotherhood parliamentarian in neighboring Egypt told me when I asked him whether Hamas would ever accept a two-state solution: "They will have to. Their people will make them.") And the most promising way to ensure such responsiveness is to speed up the reconciliation between the governments in the West Bank and Gaza, so that those governments can agree to hold elections rather than jealously hold on to their own fiefdoms in a fit of paranoia. But that, in turn, will require that Israel and the international community show a greater willingness to countenance Palestinian reconciliation.

Well that puts a quick end to that idea. Matt Duss fears that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas "may prove to be the most significant casualty of this episode":

He was the biggest political loser of the last Gaza war, where the perception was that he supported the attack against his rivals. Abbas’s failure to achieve any tangible goods for the Palestinians, either through now-dead negotiations with Israel or through his half-hearted efforts to upgrade Palestine’s status at the U.N., make him more irrelevant by the day. It seems likely that this latest round of war will end with Israel’s most implacable enemy still in place, and its more moderate peace-partner even more weakened.

And Yossi Klein Halevi finds that Israelis are pessimistic about the peace process:

Most Israelis would surely agree that a peace agreement with the Palestinians is far preferable to yet another round of fighting. But few Israelis, whatever their politics, blame Netanyahu for the absence of peace. There is a consensus that peace with the Palestinian national movement—or rather that half of the Palesitnian national movement represented by Mahmoud Abbas, rather than the explicitly theocratic Hamas—isn’t possible at this time. Indeed, that is precisely why the left-liberal opposition Labor Party had intended to shift its focus from the non-existent peace process to social issues. (The polls suggested this was a promising pivot: Before the latest fighting, Labor was expected to grow from an embarrassing 8 seats to 20 or more in the 120 seat Knesset.) Whether Labor will be able to plausibly keep the spotlight on domestic issues depends entirely on what now happens in Gaza.