14:04 , 01.29.06
No partner, and other cliches
Israel's never had a peace partner because it refuses to be a peace partner
"Only Palestinian democracy will bring peace." That is to say, we only sign peace agreements with democratic parties. You know, like Egypt and Jordan, which as everybody knows… never mind.
"We will not allow Hamas to participate in Palestinian elections." That is to say, we won't allow democratization in the Palestinian Authority, because only democratization will bring peace, and as you know we are opposed… doesn't matter.
"Hamas is no partner for peace." That is to say Hamas is the only partner for peace, and so it is no partner. Since the disintegration of the PA – thanks to the IDF and Fatah corruption – Hamas is the central grassroots movement amongst the Palestinians. And as of last week, the group is also the political representative of a majority of Palestinians. That is to say – the only partner for peace we've got.
This is precisely the reason Israel is so stubborn about the fact they are no partner. Because any partner that had the power to be a partner is disqualified from being a partner because Israeli governments, basically, have never been peace partners themselves. Despite this, they are
continually searching for new partners: For occupation, for settlement blocs, for road blocks.
"We won't negotiate with a terror organization." That is to say, of course we'll negotiate with a terror organization. We have with the PLO,
Hizbullah, and we will with Hamas, too. But what's the rush? We don't usually talk to terrorists until they draw our blood, and we theirs. We'll wait a few years, kill a few of our kids and theirs – and then we'll consider speaking to them. No price is too great for our arrogance.
"We will boycott the Hamas government." As well as the Sasson report about illegal outposts, the state comptroller's report about poverty, the state of education, the disintegrating health and welfare establishments in Israel, and if we close our eyes very, very tight - poof! The whole world can once again look pink and sweet, like it was when we were kids.
"You can't be a partner in peace if your organization has an armed wing" (George W. Bush on Hamas): That is to say, Israel can't be a partner for peace as long as it has an armed wing (the IDF). The same goes for the U.S. and other countries. Make a decision: army or peace. You can't have both.
"This was no innocent incident." That's what the IDF spokesman said about Aya Alsatel. Who is Aya Alsatel? Just a 7-year-old (or 9-year-old) Palestinian girl. Was Aya Alsatel part of a terrorist organization? Maybe, who knows. If she wasn't a terrorist, what was she doing walking near the border fence at the Kissufim Crossing last Thursday evening with a big backpack on her back? What does a little girl need a backpack for? Since when do kids carry backpacks?
"This was no innocent incident." Did Aya scream "ouch" when she was hit by the bullet? Maybe, who knows? The IDF soldiers who shot her in the dark certainly didn't. Rules are rules. So what if Aya was killed on the same day that Hamas won the elections? What a terrible timing. Her killing merited just a small headline on page 18. Oh, Aya, Aya. You won't be able to be a partner.
Dr. Idan Landau is a lecturer at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev