Essential Reading to Understand The Headlines

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Simple Way to Start the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

How can you negotiate with a house divided within itself?

There are, once again, whispers from Gaza (whose credibility is not clear) that a comprehensive deal is being worked out for Hamas and Fatah to sign a reconciliation agreement

Everyone knows that Hamas and Fatah are two rivals in Gaza. There are two factions there so how can Israel or even the US start negotiating when these two are fighting each other and can't discuss among themselves? Who will they talk to? If Israel talks to Hamas, Fatah will not recognize it and vice versa.

It doesn't take a doctorate in political science to see the first step in the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process. Get these two groups together (Hamas and Fatah) to agree first so that there will be someone to discuss with!

If we scan the daily news logs, Obama and the rest of the world are calling Israel to the table to negotiate! It has made demands and counter demands and even disrespected Netanyahu at the White House. But has it demanded the leading factions in Gaza to get their acts together? I don't see any strong push or any push at all from the Obama administration for these groups to seriously hammer out their differences. They keep on nitpicking on the details when the foundation for the talks (who to talk with) isn't there to begin with!

Hamas hates everyone so the most promising of the two is Fatah. But the former is a powerful bloc so what can Israel do but wait unless somebody comes to the table! If Israel is alone at that table then how can we kick start a peace process in the first place?

For more on the Fatah and Hamas conflict see Wikipedia