Middle East Forum: Dangerous and False Palestinian "Unity"

June 5, 2014 – San Francisco, CA – PipeLineNews.org – The recent forming of a “unity” government between the previously discordant parties, Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah led faction and that of Hamas, headed since 2007 by Ismail Haniyeh has some serious implications.

Perhaps the most important of these is that despite the alliance “Palestinian” governance remains as fragmented as it was previous the agreement with the recently inked document possibly making things worse given the dynamics now in play. Providing some perspective on this matter we turn to Efraim Inbar, PhD [BESA Center] whose area of expertise is strategic analysis.

In an article published today in the Middle East Forum [see, Dangerous and False Palestinian "Unity"] Dr. Inbar underscores the difficulties faced by such an arrangement:.

“As long as the military branch of Hamas remains independent, there is no Palestinian unity…acceptance of a growing role for Hamas is inimical to Israeli-Palestinian peaceful co-existence.”

Dr. Inbar argues that this development is symptomatic of the plight facing much of the Middle East’s Muslim world post the Arab Spring., “it is not clear to what extent are Palestinians able to move beyond this general Arab political malaise.”

The main concern remains to what degree will a supposedly unitized government be able to rein in Hamas which remains defiant in Gaza.

“In fact, it is hard to believe that Hamas will give up control over the Gaza Strip…it serves the extremist Hamas ideology [to keep alive] the military and theological struggle against the unacceptable Jewish state.”

Resulting from the insistence by the West that political enemies [Fatah, Hamas, and other Islamic jihadist groups active in the area] unite under a single banner the deservedly maligned “peace process” will forever be a dead end. Exacerbating the matter has been the waning of an active American role in the region, pointless “shuttle diplomacy” notwithstanding.

“Acceptance of a growing role for Hamas is inimical to Israeli-Palestinian peaceful co-existence. Radical Hamas…is unlikely to give up violence against Israel. After all, the Islamists are encouraged by the trends in the Arab world – whereby political Islam seems to be gaining greater power…and where the US seems to be in constant retreat/ It is not the first time the Europeans and the Americans adopt misguided policies towards the Middle East, displaying naiveté, misunderstanding…and moral failure.”

Inbar’s dour perspective is fed by the realization that until the Palestinians are willing to accept Israel as a Jewish political entity, nothing positive can ever happen.

“Palestinian society, under the spell of a nationalist and Islamic ethos, is simply unable to bring itself to a historic compromise with the Zionist movement that would end the conflict.”

It has been observed by more than one political commentator that the idea of negotiating in an atmosphere where there is neither a winner nor a loser is a futile exercise since there can be no agreed upon victor which can then impose or negotiate an end to the hostilities.

Dr. Inbar seems to be in full accord.

Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, is a professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University, and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.

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