As David Horovitz, editor of The Times of Israel, explains:
Why the need to “resist” an Israel that has no presence in Gaza, and that has long since internalized the imperative to seek an accommodation with the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank if this can only be achieved without imperiling Israel’s own existence? Why? Because, for Hamas, hostility to the very fact of Israel’s existence still far outweighs any and all other interests.
Turning to our president’s own op-ed, Obama begins with the usual reaffirmation of how he and his administration are Israel’s greatest friends and says that he is doing all he can “to ensure that Iran does not ever possess a nuclear weapon.” Then he turns to yet another plea for a “comprehensive negotiated settlement,” when reality on the ground makes it crystal clear that is the last thing the Palestinian leadership — including Abbas and Fatah — wants. Finally, the moral equivalence: “All parties must be willing to take chances for peace.” There is no acknowledgment that while Israel has made clear its continued willingness to do just that, the Palestinian leadership has shown the opposite over and over.
The administration’s real hostility to Israel was most obvious in the remarks of its spokesman, Philip Gordon. What Gordon did in his speech to the so-called peace conference sponsored by Haaretz is praise Mahmoud Abbas as a peace partner at a time when the Hamas government, with which Abbas has signed a unity pact, is raining missiles down on Israel.
Abbas is seeking to bring Israel to the International Criminal Court to hold hearings to condemn Israel for war crimes. At the very same time, he has refused to condemn the wanton bombings of Israeli civilians carried out by his partners in Hamas. Nor has he said anything to contradict those in his own group, Fatah, that praise the unity with Hamas and its pledge to destroy Israel.
For Gordon to shower praise on Abbas at this time while urging restraint from Israel is the mark of ultimate hypocrisy. Moreover, to speak these words at the exact moment that Hamas was hitting Israel with rockets is obscene.
Abbas, rather than being the best hope for a peace partner that Israel has had, has proved to be a leader who cannot even restrain his partners in Hamas, as if he ever even sought that aim. Indeed, as reports indicate, Abbas now has condemned Israel for “genocide” and for emulating Auschwitz.
Ironically, the Haaretz peace conference — which features panels such as one including both Peter Beinart and J-Street chief Jeremy Ben-Ami, stalwart proponents of pressuring Israel who regularly put the blame for failure to attain peace on the Jewish state they purport to defend — suddenly found themselves having to stop in the middle of the proceedings to run to their bomb shelters in Tel Aviv. As Max Fisher reports:
It was a coincidence, yes; the rockets are barely accurate enough to be aimed at a single city, let alone a single building holding an Israel-Palestine peace conference, and no one was hurt. But it is a moment of profoundly tragic symbolism, exceptional even in a conflict that produces many such moments, that a Palestinian militant group with the desire of ending the Israeli occupation would fire rockets at Israeli civilians who had themselves gathered with the express purpose of ending the occupation.
This reporter, himself part of the delusional Israeli far-left wing, could not resist pointing out the obvious, although he does not seem to comprehend that to Hamas and Fatah, there is no difference between a peacenik Israeli on the left end of the political spectrum and any other Israeli. All are citizens of a state which in their eyes is completely illegitimate.
So Hamas continues to fight Israel with more rockets, and as Israel defends itself, we can expect more and more comments urging Israel to withdraw, condemning Israel for harming innocent Palestinian civilians, and urging Israel to make a real commitment to peace. Moral equivalence is the starting point for condemning Israel for sole guilt for the crisis in the Middle East.