Saturday, December 22, 2007

On ‘Israel’s Right to Exist’

There is an enormous difference between "recognizing Israel's existence" and "recognizing Israel's right to exist".

By John V. Whitbeck
Special to

"Almost two years after the most democratic elections ever held in the Arab world, as Palestinians struggle to survive in two disconnected and hostile fragments of historical Palestine, a besieged Gaza Strip and a coopted West Bank, with the enemies of the Palestinian people sending arms and funds to the side perceived as responsive to Israeli and Western wishes for use against the side perceived as representing Palestinian interests, the justification put forward by Israel, the United States and the European Union for their refusal to accept the result of the January 2006 elections, their determined efforts to overturn that result and their brutal collective punishment of the Palestinian people -- the refusal of Hamas to "recognize Israel" or to "recognize Israel's existence" or to "recognize Israel's right to exist" -- merits serious examination......

Those who recognize the critical importance of Israeli-Palestinian peace and truly seek a decent future for both peoples must recognize that the demand that Hamas recognize "Israel's right to exist" is unreasonable, immoral and impossible to meet. Then they must insist that this roadblock to peace be removed, that the siege of the Gaza Strip be lifted and that justice -- not simply "peace", which can be a euphemism for the successful repression of resistance to injustice -- be pursued, with the urgency it deserves, with all legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people."

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