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Concrete tunnel, cement head

Writing in the Washington Post, Fareed Zakaria says: “Peace between the Palestinians and Israelis will come only when Israel decides that it wants to make peace.” I honestly don’t understand how an observant man speaking in good faith can say that.

How about those Palestinians running the show in Gaza? They wage an unrelenting war against the existence of the state of Israel, interrupted only by preparations for the next round. We learn that among their most recent preparations are a lavishly constructed tunnel with no purpose other than to conduct offensive operations against Israeli citizens and soldiers. Yakov Lappin reports on it for the Investigative Project on Terrorism here. A BuzzFeed staffer collects “stunning photos of the tunnel here.

Fareed Zakaria is one of the many cognoscenti, incidentally, who condemned Israel for enforcing a the blockade against Gaza. Here is evidence of one such example; here is another. It was the blockade that prevented the importation of materials such as the cement that Hamas used to construct the tunnel. Elliott Abrams comments on the likes of Zakaria:

What’s interesting here is not Hamas acting as Hamas always does: as a terrorist group that is uninterested in the welfare of the people of Gaza. What’s interesting is the number of proponents of lifting the blockade of Gaza who have now admitted error. The number appears to be zero. Not one has acknowledged that allowing construction materials into Gaza allowed Hamas to construct more tunnels, and that Israel may have been right to prevent their arrival. Being a critic of Israel apparently means never having to say you’re sorry.

Gaza is only the most extreme example that belies Zakaria’s proposition. The New York Times recently published Yuval Steinitz’s excellent column “How Palestinian hate prevents peace.” Palestinian Media Watch has posted a devastating annotated version of Steinitz’s column. Maybe Zakaria missed it. More likely, he doesn’t take the routine expressions of “Palestinian” hatred from Palestinians high and low seriously.

The problem is that the mainstream of “Palestinian” opinion rejects the existence of Israel. The two parties jockeying for power in the Palestinian Authority — Hamas and PLO/Fatah — reject Israel. You may recall that Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the PA, is in the ninth year of his four-year term, and that Abbas was Yasser Arafat’s right-hand man. In that capacity her served as the paymaster of the 1972 Munich massacre. Khaled Abu Toameh takes a look at the battle for the succession to Abbas as PA president. According to Abu Toameh, the “peace talks” which Abbas has unenthusiastically joined bear on the battle for succession. Abu Toameh observes:

It is worth noting that Abbas decided to return to the negotiating table with Israel shortly after most members of the PLO Executive Committee voted against the move.

Since then, Abbas has been facing increased calls to appoint a deputy president of the Palestinian Authority as a way of limiting his powers.

At a recent meeting of the Fatah Central Committee, one official, Tawfik Tirawi, did not hesitate to bring up the subject in the presence of Abbas.

Tirawi, a former security commander in the West Bank, proposed that Abbas appoint jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti as deputy president. Barghouti is serving a five life-term prison sentence for his role in terror attacks against Israelis during the second intifada.

Fatah officials said that Abbas did not comment on the idea.

Abbas presumably didn’t comment because Barghouti is such a popular figure among the West Bank Arabs.

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