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Sham Mideast Peace Talks: What It Really Means When They Say 'Contiguous'

The report’s photos are even more dramatic than its words.

Even worse than the rain of rockets and mortars now falling on Israel from Gaza is the reality of these camps. The shelling of Israeli communities is an acute problem in the present. The camps promise continuing problems in the future -- far into the future.

If so, it is difficult to know what Mitchell and the administration he represents have in mind regarding their contiguous Palestinian state. Would Israel be obligated to provide “safe passage” to the West Bank, and back, for the teachers, students, and graduates of the summer camps? What would prevent the transfer back and forth of terror operatives, weapons, plans, and know-how?

When it comes to Hamas, the U.S. seems to want to have it both ways. It was the Bush administration that pressured Israel to allow the organization to participate in the 2006 Palestinian elections. When Hamas won, the U.S. was surprised -- but it was Israel that had to deal with the situation. Now -- four years, thousands of rocket attacks, a war, and tens of thousands of jihad-trained Palestinian children later -- the Obama administration still talks breezily about peace and contiguity.

Nor should the spotlight only be on Gaza and Hamas. A survey last month by the Palestinian polling agency AWRAD suggests that the two parts of the prospective Palestinian state would find much contiguity of ideology and purpose.

Conducted among both Gaza and West Bank Palestinians, the survey found 78 percent saying it was “essential” that “the final status of Palestine and Israel” consist of “Historic Palestine -- from the Jordan River to the sea as a national homeland for Palestinians.” The survey found that 87.5 percent rated the right of “refugees” to “return” to Israel (thereby liquidating it demographically) as “essential.” And 84 percent called it “essential” that “all of Jerusalem (East and West)” be part of the Palestinian state.

The situation is eerily familiar: the talk of peace, the meetings and handshakes, while Israelis are subjected to terror attacks; the studious ignoring of elephants in the room. It will continue, and get worse, until the practice of treating Israel and the Palestinians as morally equivalent players in a rational game ends.