09 May '11
In an editorial yesterday morning on the Fatah-Hamas deal, the New York Times asserts that “In an interview with The Times last week, Khaled Meshal, the Hamas leader, declared himself fully committed to working for a two-state solution.”
But the Hamas leader declared no such thing—or if he did, a “two-state solution” does not mean what he thinks it means.
The editorial is referring to a May 5 news report, describing an interview in which Meshal is quoted as saying the Fatah-Hamas deal created a “common national agenda” and “national political program.” The report continued:
[Meshal] defined that as “a Palestinian state in the 1967 lines with Jerusalem as its capital, without any settlements or settlers, not an inch of land swaps and respecting the right of return” of Palestinian refugees to Israel itself. Asked if a deal honoring those principles would produce an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mr. Meshal said, “I don’t want to talk about that.”
In other words, the “two states” Meshal has in mind are (1) a Palestinian state that does not concede an inch of the disputed territories that are the subject of negotiation, and (2) an Israeli state that is subject to a Palestinian “right of return,” asserted precisely to reject a Jewish state. Asked if that would end the conflict, Meshal declined to answer—although it is obvious what his answer would have been, had the Times sought to press him on that issue.
If this is the “common national agenda” and “national political program” to which Mahmoud Abbas has now committed himself in the “deal,” it is more accurate to say that the former “peace partner” has now rejected a two-state solution, along with Hamas. No wonder he never gave his Bir-Zeit speech.
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