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  • Mark Lavie

Hamas has killed the two-state solution

The atrocities Hamas terrorists have perpetrated against Israel have buried the “peace process” and the “two-state solution” forever.

Hamas is to blame for this. But not only Hamas.

The time will come for reckoning over Israel’s military and intelligence failures. This isn’t the time.

Hamas is responsible for these despicable crimes. But the other Palestinian wing, the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas, is also to blame. Hamas never bought into the “peace process” or the “two-state solution.” Abbas supposedly did.

But have you heard Abbas denounce the Hamas atrocities? Instead, his political party, Fatah, took to social media to call on his people to “kill everyone who is a settler, everyone who is Israeli.”

Should this be a surprise? Not to anyone who’s been paying attention to the Palestinian Authority’s actions over the past two decades. Abbas’s predecessor, Yasser Arafat, turned down Israel’s offer of an independent state in 2000. Abbas turned down a similar offer in 2008.

That was the actual end of the “peace process,” though most of the West didn’t accept that obvious conclusion. The Palestinian rejections destroyed Israel’s moderate “peace camp,” and even led to the election of Benjamin Netanyahu.

So “moderate” Palestinians like Abbas were the original rejectionists. Despite that, much of the West has continued to insist that Israel must make concessions, or gestures, or a settlement freeze to keep the “two-state solution” alive.

That needs to end. By their actions, “moderate” Palestinians have removed themselves from the process of Mideast peacemaking, once and for all.

Abbas and his legions have made killing Israeli civilians a perfectly legitimate undertaking—first by hate-filled education, then by lionizing dead terrorists as “martyrs” who get streets and parks named after them, and then paying attractive stipends and pensions to the families of terrorists who were captured by Israel.

Does this mean that all Palestinians are terrorists, or terrorist supporters? Of course not. Most of the 100,000 Japanese who were killed by the two American atomic bombs in 1945 were also innocent civilians, entrapped by their evil government. Civilian casualties are a painful but real part of war, and it’s no different here.

And what happens after the Palestinians are removed from the political process? It’s impossible to say, but at least whatever follows will be based on reality, not on pat, outdated formulas. It is still in Israel’s interest not to rule 4 million Palestinians, but the hopes that this could be accomplished with two states living side by side in peace are gone, probably forever.

(This is the place for a personal note: I am a charter member of “Let down by Oslo,” moderate Israelis who believed that the “Oslo accord,” signed in 1993 by Israel and the Palestinians, would lead to peace—only to be bitterly disappointed when the Palestinians slammed the door on negotiations.)

What Hamas has succeeded in showing a previously unconvinced world is that a peaceful solution here depends on both sides, not just Israel. Arafat and Abbas led the way to failure by rejecting Israel’s offers and relentlessly promoting hatred and violence.

Now Hamas has taken this to a whole new level. What Hamas has done in Israel, including the massacre of hundreds of teenagers at a beach party, is on a par with, or even exceeds, the crimes of ISIS and al-Qaeda. Does anyone call for negotiations, must less concessions, to those terrorists?

Yet just last week, 20 US Senators tried to ram Palestinians down the throats of Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the US government—demanding a Palestinian political element in any deal that includes normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

There is a knee-jerk reaction to any Mideast development that leads many to spout “Palestinians,” “two-state solution,” and “settlement freeze.” That’s despite the fact that, first, the Arab Spring, and then the Abraham Accords (Israel establishing ties with Arab states of UAE, Morocco, and Bahrain) have shown to any objective observer that the Mideast sun does not rise and set with the Palestinians. Arab nations have known that for decades, just using the “Palestinian issue” as a tool to distract their people from real problems.

Even so, in the past few days, despite the Hamas atrocities, I have had to explain for the umpteenth time that Israel’s West Bank settlements are a problem, but not THE problem, because there are still well-meaning people who swallowed the “settlements” pill and haven’t disgorged it yet. So for the last time, and I mean the last time:

The Palestinian Authority is in direct control of 94 percent of its population in the West Bank. The fact that the PA has totally failed to govern them efficiently, despite piles and piles of foreign aid, is on them, not on Israel—and with that in mind, the settlements are no more than a burr under the saddle.

It’s not the occupation, either. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, pulling out all its soldiers while evacuating 18 settlements and all 8,000 settlers. “Oh, but Israel controls the borders,” complain the armchair skeptics and Israel-haters. Um, every nation controls its borders.

In response to Israel’s pullout, Palestinians turned their seaside mini-state into one of the world’s ugliest and most violent terrorism centers.

It is a great tragedy that the Palestinians have done this to themselves. They could have had a state in 2000, or again in 2008. They could have ended Israeli occupation, and they could have had an ordinary, functioning nation—not necessarily a democracy—ever since.

But no. They collectively chose the path of violence, terror, and mass murder. Israel will never forgive them. Neither should the rest of the world.

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