MembersWith Whom is Israel Making Peace?

The notion that Israel has no peace partner on the Palestinian side is often bandied about in regards to the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas continuing to incite anti-Israel sentiment and refusing to compromise on its hard-line demands.

By Ryan Jones |
Hamas
Photo: Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90

But the reality is that there’s no peace partner on the Palestinian side because Abbas doesn’t speak for all Palestinians. He might not even speak for a majority of them. Back in the early 1990s, Israel agreed to let the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the world’s premier terrorist organization at the time (think today’s Al Qaeda), take control of parts of the Holy Land precisely because it was impossible to conclude a comprehensive peace with disparate Palestinian sheikhs and clans. Such negotiations required a central authority, a body that could speak on behalf of the entire Palestinian Arab community.

Events of the past decade have demonstrated that the regime of Mahmoud Abbas, and Yasser Arafat before him, is not what Israel and the international community were hoping for. Why does the Abbas government continue to incite anti-Israel sentiment? Part of it’s because they dislike the Jewish state, sure. But possibly an even bigger consideration is the need to appeal to base populist sentiment. That’s what Hamas does, and it’s resulted in the terror group becoming at...

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