Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I am not sure that it is good policy of the US, Canada, the Netherlands and other countries to isolate and boycott the Hamas government. On the other hand, I also find it hard to get excited about the letter that the Palestinian foreign minister, Hamas's Mahmoud al-Zahar, sent to Kofi Annan. If the Palestinians really are serious about a two-state solution ( i.e. if by two states they mean Israel and Palestine ) and about a Jewish and a Palestinian state living side by side "in peace and security", why is it so hard for them to refer to Israel and the Jews by name? If Mr Zahar really wants "to enable the Palestinian people to attain their legitimate rights" he knows that Jerusalem is the right address, not Moscow, Brussels, Washington and New York. I am convinced that if the Hamas government makes clear to the Palestinians, Israel and the world that it is sincere when talking about peace and security it will find an eager partner on the Israeli side. Until the Palestinian government convinces us of such a sincerity, Israel should assume that it has to determine for and by itself what its borders will be, as if there is no partner to negotiate with on the other side of the conflict.

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