Peace-processing our way to disaster.

By Ted Belman

I have long been against the “peace process” and wrote Repudiate the ‘peace process’ and annex Judea and Samaria and The ‘peace process’ is a bigger danger than Hamas and The Conspiracy to Shrink Israel

Now, Reuel Marc Gerecht, WEEKLY STANDARD has weighed in with Dangerous Illusions. He addresses both negotiations with Iran and with the PA.

[..] The West Bank and Gaza are increasingly convulsed by civil strife–in Iraq such violence is sometimes called “civil war”–yet many people, in government and out, think that an Israeli-Palestinian deal is still possible, provided Washington has the will to force Jerusalem to make concessions. Yet the Islamic fundamentalist movement Hamas has grown powerful electorally and militarily by advancing an uncompromising hostility to the existence of Israel. Fatah, the backbone of the now-defunct Palestine Liberation Organization and the political base on which the Bush administration and the Europeans want to build a Palestinian state living in peace with its Jewish neighbor, has grown noticeably more anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic.

Competition with Hamas, more popular and more religious, now defines Fatah’s themes. Not just on the West Bank and in Gaza, but throughout the Sunni Muslim world, fundamentalism has eclipsed virtually every other rallying cry. Born in anger at the unstoppable bulldozer of the West’s seductive and deracinating modernity, Islamic fundamentalism shows no signs of receding in Sunni lands, let alone in Palestine, where the faithful live right next to rich, technically accomplished, and militarily powerful Westerners.

Peace-processing has become an institution in Washington. Among many Democrats and Republicans, it’s a reflex. Normally historically sensitive people will quickly affirm the centrality of the Israeli-Palestinian imbroglio to the spread of religious radicalism in the Islamic world and its now nervous offshoot, Europe. Yet the dynamic unfolding in Palestine–Islamic fundamentalism gobbling up the decaying corpse of secular dictatorship–is what we’ve seen almost everywhere in the Arab world. In Algeria, Syria, and Iraq, the process has been even more violent than in the West Bank and Gaza.

[..] The White House, under fewer illusions, may simply want to maintain the appearance of peace-processing for the benefit of transatlantic ties. There is an argument for this, given the essential European role in imposing serious sanctions against an Iran that is pursuing nuclear weaponry. Just a little sop to keep the Palestinian-focused BBC and Bundestag happy. And the Europeans don’t require much since the undeniable popular power of Hamas, its hard-to-conceal ugly ethics, and its blatant revulsion for Israel have severely tarnished the once romantic Palestinian cause.

But no more than a sop is justified. The sooner Washington gets beyond the peace process, the sooner both Democrats and Republicans can think more seriously about how to deal with rising Islamic radicalism in the Middle East and the threat it poses to the West. Returning to the pre-9/11 preference for stable Muslim autocracies and the peace process is a dangerous cul-de-sac. [..]

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June 2, 2007 | Comments Off on Peace-processing our way to disaster.

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