This week, in the wake of the "peace conference" at Annapolis, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. 60 years ago last week the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 181 ending the British mandate and specifically creating a Jewish state. Israel's purpose, it's raison d'être, was and is to provide a safe haven for the Jewish people. This, plus the fact that the Jewish people originally come from Israel, was the reason the international community created Israel in the first place. This took place in the wake of the Holocaust and growing persecution in the Arab world.
It's simple: if Abbas doesn't recognize Israel as a Jewish state that means he doesn't recognize Israel as defined and created by the U.N. It means he does not accept U.N. resolutions that are inconvenient for him. It means that he, like Hamas' leadership, wants Israel destroyed. Only his methods are different.
Why don't the U.S.,. the U.N., and the E.U. deal with Hamas? Why won't Israel negotiate with Hamas? Once again, it's simple: Hamas won't recognize Israel. Now it turns out Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas don't either, at least in any meaningful way. It seems to me there is no basis for negotiation. What applies to Hamas applies equally to Fatah. Look, I understand the hasbara (PR) value of Annapolis and going through the motions of a peace process. Having said that there are some principles that can't be bargained away. A nation's right to exist as constituted by it's people is one of them. Prime Minister Olmert should call off the next round of negotiations in Moscow until President Abbas recognizes Israel properly. Nothing less will do.