Hats off to Yousef Munayyer. Earlier this week the New Yorker published When the Smoke Clears in Gaza, advising “fundamental change” was needed in Israel’s approach to their relationship with Palestinians: “new paradigm.. based on equality”. Thanksgiving day, the New York Times published Munayyer’s wake up call to Washington. Will they listen?
The New York Times: America’s Failed Palestinian Policy
The message they ultimately understood from observing America’s reflexively pro-Israel policy was that the peace process was merely a cover for endless Israeli colonialism.
America’s policy toward Hamas also sent the wrong message; rather than promoting peace, it only created incentives for the use of arms…..
…….The returns may be limited and the costs significant, but when the other options are either subjugation or the path their compatriots in Fatah face, Hamas is likely to make the same calculation — and choose violence every time.
The cease-fire announced Wednesday will only perpetuate the same incentive structure. Through the use of force, Hamas gained favorable terms. The Israelis agreed to ease collective punishment of Palestinians in Gaza and end extrajudicial assassinations. While both of these are against international law to begin with and long-term Israeli adherence to these terms is not guaranteed, these are nonetheless commitments that Hamas believes could only have been extracted through armed struggle.
By constantly condemning Palestinian armed resistance, and failing to condemn Israeli settlement expansion and repression of nonviolent Palestinian dissent, the message the United States is sending the Palestinian people is this: All resistance to occupation is illegitimate.
No nation on earth would accept that, nor is it realistic to expect it to.
The disastrous results of the incentive structure we’ve created have been on full display in recent days. Moving forward, Washington must fundamentally re-evaluate the messages it sends to all parties because we’ve currently set them on the path to even greater — and potentially unmanageable — escalations in the future.