This commentary was published in Weekly Standard Magazine May 23, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 34
The news from Syria grows grimmer by the day—more peaceful protesters killed, ten thousand arrested in the past week, army units shelling residential neighborhoods.
Some forlorn hope may still have existed inside the administration that a compromise on construction could bring the Palestinians back to the table with the government of Israel—until the agreement between Hamas and Fatah was signed on April 27. This agreement, unless and until it collapses, makes Israeli concessions or new flexibility in the West Bank impossible and puts paid to the entire “peace process.” It brings Hamas into the Palestinian Authority government, ending a period of several years when Palestinian Security Forces have cooperated with the Israel Defense Forces against terrorism and against Hamas in particular. It will also bring Hamas—next year and for the first time—into the PLO, the body charged with negotiating peace with Israel. Even Yasser Arafat resisted that development when he headed the PLO, and it seems obvious that Israel cannot negotiate peace with an anti-Semitic terrorist group bent on its destruction.