Tuesday, January 06, 2009
solution to the conflict between the state of Israel and the Hamas regime in Gaza is as simple as it is impossible. All it will take, is an equal willingness in the people of Gaza (and their elected leaders) to live next to Israel as the people (and government) of Israel already have to live next to a "Palestinian state." To steal a popular buzzword from the past few days, the mutual acceptance needs to be "proportionate."
It's anybody's guess how close the Gaza people are to this ideal attitude. Some say they didn't elect Hamas for the terrorism, but rather for some nebulous "hope" and "change" from Fatah Party corruption. But since Hamas successfully fought and won the defacto separation of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority in 2007, the plain truth is that the regime in current control of that territory has zero willingness to live alongside Israel. That position is in the Hamas constitution, and it doesn't get any more fundamental than that. The never-ending random rain of rockets is proof enough.
I wouldn't expect any of the useful idiots now waving Hamas flags in various world capitals to suddenly become interested in knowing exactly what Hamas actually stands for (hint: it doesn't include live Jews). I don't expect any of those same idiots would tolerate a tiny terrorist pseudo-state on their own border, dropping rockets randomly onto their own hometowns either. But one can't reason people out of positions they've never reasoned themselves into in the first place.
The story of Mosab Hassan Yousef offers a glimmer of hope that people at the centre of the problem -- those Palestinians who simply won't accept Israel's right to exist -- can reason themselves out of their fanaticism. Mosab is the son of one of Hamas' founding members, and was himself a leader in the terrorist group's youth movement. While in an Israeli jail, Mosab saw Hamas' true colours, he says, for the first time -- including the torture and murder of some of their own members.
The epiphany experienced by this man caused a crisis of faith which he then explored methodically for himself, telling almost no one about it. He knew it was dangerous, especially for one in his position near the heart of Hamas itself. Mosab eventually understood that if he wished to continue his journey out of terrorism, he would need to leave his home behind. He now lives with an al Qaeda death fatwa over him.
As I wrote at the beginning, the solution for Israel and the Palestinians is simple -- yet impossible due entirely to Hamas' unremitting terrorist ideology. Without mutual acceptance of the other's right to live, the outlook is exactly as Mosab Hassan Yousef puts it: "There is no chance. Is there any chance for fire to co-exist with the water?"
If the majority of Gazans are actually willing to live and let live, then they need some different leaders before any progress will happen. If there were people like Mosab representing them (rather than the Iran-backed terrorists holding them hostage), a solution could have been found yesterday.
Leaving terrorism is a phenomenon which actually does occur, sometimes where you least expect it. More please.
This is a documentary about Mosab's courageous journey, in six parts:
UPDATE: If the embedded video playlist isn't working correctly for you, the playlist is here.