Benjamin Netanyahu’s response to last week’s Fatah and the Hamas unity government agreement reminded me of a line from American novelist William Faulkner: “It is a happy faculty of the mind to slough that which conscience refuses to assimilate.” In the case of Netanyahu this means translating any development among the Palestinians as a threat to Israel and as a menace to her security. Immediately after the Palestinian unity agreement was announced, the Israeli government suspended the already stalled peace talks with the Palestinians, putting the entire blame for the collapse of the peace process on the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. In typical fashion, Netanyahu warned the Palestinian leader that it was a case of “either us or them,” and “Whoever chooses the terrorism of Hamas does not want peace.” The U.S. was not far behind, describing the unity agreement as unhelpful, and called for a pause in the peace negotiations. Essentially, both had already reached the conclusion some time ago that the talks for peace had hit the bumpers. The Palestinian announcement of unity government presented the opportunity for Israel to lay the entire blame on the Palestinian Authority for the failure of the peace talks, without taking any responsibility herself.
The armed struggle against Israel has led to an unrelenting Israeli military response which killed and injured thousands, and destroyed much of the already fragile infrastructure in GazaYossi Mekelberg