Hamas or talks: How is this not a precondition?


Israel is making it crystal clear it will not negotiate with a Palestinian Authority that has anything to do with Hamas.

Two things:

a) This apparently includes an arrangement that lets Mahmoud Abbas take the lead on foreign policy, on a peace deal with Israel. I.e., one that leaves intact a P.A. that abides by the Road Map and other prior agreements.

b) How does this square with no preconditions for peace talks?

Let me make the point I made before (when I predicted that this could happen): It may be a perfectly reasonable precondition.

But then so may be the P.A. precondition — that Israel re-freeze settlements. 

The point is that arguments over process are beside the point. That making the P.A. precondition some kind of sin in of itself was always manifestly silly.

The problem has never been the P.A.’s settlement precondition as a precondition — it’s been the P.A’s position on settlements.

That’s the argument that needs to stand or fall on its own — that the P.A.’s position on settlements is unreasonable. That there is a moral and political case for settlement expansion.

The Netanyahu government should make that argument — not to itself, not to its citizens, not to its followers here, but to the international community.

And see what happens.

Recommended from JTA