Palestinians’ Easy Fix

In the Times of London, Daniel Finkelstein writes,

The poverty and the death and the despair among the Palestinians in Gaza moves me to tears. How can it not? Who can see pictures of children in a war zone or a slum street and not be angry and bewildered and driven to protest? And what is so appalling is that it is so unnecessary. For there can be peace and prosperity at the smallest of prices. The Palestinians need only say that they will allow Israel to exist in peace. They need only say this tiny thing, and mean it, and there is pretty much nothing they cannot have.

Talk about proportionality. Israel is asked to endure daily rocket attacks, ignore the conspiring forces of destruction on its borders, and to focus its energies on giving more land to their assailants. While all that’s required of Hamas is that they acknowledge Israel’s right to exist. Forget about cease-fires and road maps: Hamas has yet to get on board with point one of the social contract that allows for coexistence on the planet. As Finkelstein reminds us:

Yet they will not say it. And they will not mean it. For they do not want the Jews. Again and again – again and again – the Palestinians have been offered a nation state in a divided Palestine. And again and again they have turned the offer down, for it has always been more important to drive out the Jews than to have a Palestinian state. It is difficult sometimes to avoid the feeling that Hamas and Hezbollah don’t want to kill Jews because they hate Israel. They hate Israel because they want to kill Jews.

This is not much different from saying, there cannot be peace.