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Monday, July 21, 2014

David Ignatius, "How to break Hamas’s stranglehold on Gaza": Two Blind Mice

The geocentric model of the universe, which explained how the sun, the moon and the stars revolve around the earth, persisted until the 16th Century. Although the underlying facts were wrong, some of world's most brilliant people continued to "improve" the geocentric model until Copernicus came along in 1543 with his heliocentric model of the solar system. Bottom line: Before wedding yourself to a universally accepted model, review the underlying facts.

In his latest Washington Post opinion piece entitled "How to break Hamas’s stranglehold on Gaza" (, David Ignatius writes:

"Hamas’s biggest weakness of all is its unpopularity among Palestinians in Gaza now. A poll taken in June, before the latest fighting began, showed that 70 percent of Gazans wanted a continuing cease-fire with Israel; 57 percent wanted a Fatah-Hamas unity government to renounce violence against Israel; 73 percent thought nonviolent resistance had a positive impact, and large majority thought Hamas had failed to deal with crime and corruption.

The future? Asked if Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas should send security personel and other officials to take over administration of Gaza, 65 percent said yes. The poll was published in July by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and its senior fellow, David Pollock."

So what isn't Ignatius telling us about the results of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy poll results ( David Pollock also states (my emphasis in red):

"Regarding the longer-term, fundamental issue of a two-state solution, Palestinian public opinion has clearly taken a maximalist turn. Other recent polls, even after the collapse of the latest peace talks, showed a majority or plurality still favoring the goal of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, alongside Israel (though the numbers were gradually declining). But now, a clear majority (60% overall, including 55% in the West Bank and 68% in Gaza) say that the five-year goal 'should be to work toward reclaiming all of historic Palestine, from the river to the sea.'"

Ignatius commends Jackson Diehl for his WaPo opinion piece published yesterday (see:, in which Diehl declared:

"A smart U.S. strategy would aim at brokering a deal between Israel, Abbas and Hamas whereby prisoners are released and the blockade on Gaza eased in exchange for Hamas’s commitment to a long-term cease-fire and free and fair elections for a unified Palestinian government. The result could be a new generation of Palestinian leaders with a genuine mandate from their people."

However, as I observed yesterday, Diehl is also ignoring Palestinian radicalism, held by a majority of Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza, which rejects Israel's basic right to exist.

Build a model for peace based upon Palestinian moderation and common sense? Regrettably, both Ignatius and Diehl are ignoring the underlying facts.

1 comment:

  1. How pollyanish can you get? Cling to the good news and pretend the bad news isn't there. As I keep reminding the indignant anti-Israel bias, this it not territorial. It is ideological. You cannot negotiate with it. You must eradicate it. I see no alternative but to deal with all the arabs in Judea/Samaria and Gaza as follows: eradicate through incarceration or expulsion all those who pose even a minor threat, and offer temporary residency to those who've proven themselves trustworthy to live amongst us. They are not the sun around which we must orbit.