Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bernard Henry-Levy on the Gaza Crisis

From his New Republic article, "Liberate the Palestinians from Hamas:"
Quickly, let's hope, the fighting will cease. And very quickly, let us also hope, the commentators will regain their wits. They will discover, on that day, that Israel has committed many errors over the course of many years (missed opportunities, a long denial of the Palestinian national demands, unilateralism), but that Palestinians' worst enemies are the extremist leaders who have never wanted peace, have never wanted a State and never conceived of one for their people other than as an instrument and as a hostage. (Consider the sinister image of Hamas supreme leader Khaled Meshal who, on Saturday, Dec. 27, when the scale of the greatly desired Israeli response was becoming clear, only knew to declare a return to suicide missions--and this during his comfortable exile, his cushy job in Damascus ...)

From two choices, one. Either Hamas leaders re-establish the truce that they broke, and, while they're at it, declare null and void a charter founded on the pure rejection of the "Zionist Entity": In doing so, they will rejoin the vast party for compromise that has not ceased--God be praised--to make progress in the region, and peace will be established. Or they will only, obstinately, consider the suffering of Palestinian civilians in terms of its fueling of their annealed passions, their insane hate, nihilistic, beyond words. And if that is the case, it is not only the Israelis, but the Palestinians, who will need to be liberated from Hamas' somber shadow.