Interviewee:    What happened of course afterwards is that as I mentioned in the process of the very beginnings of this reconciliation talk when the United States and Israel and the European Union decided that they would not allow Hamas to actually govern because their charter refuses to acknowledge a two-state solution.  The argument was and it’s not just about violence because Hamas had renounced violence.  I mean, really since Hamas has been in power in Gaza not a single Hamas, I mean, since the war in 2008 not a single Hamas rocket has actually fired into Israel.  The rockets that were fired were fired from, you know, an unrelated organization.  Hamas has actually done a pretty good job as far as maintaining security and indeed that’s proven by the fact that the Israeli government is actually working with Hamas in the background quietly to maintain security in Gaza, but the larger issue is that we wouldn’t allow Hamas to actually govern because their founding charter refused to acknowledge the existence of an Israeli state and the possibility of a two-state solution which of course violates not just Oslo and Wye and Camp David but the Quartet; all these are the founding peace process.  I found that to be incredibly disingenuous.  Why?  And this, sort of, transits us to the second question that you had about the peace process, because we have a party in Israel right now the Likud Party, the government of Israel whose charter “flatly rejects the possibility of a Palestinian Arab state west of the river Jordan.”  In other words we have a party in Israel who refuses to accept the two-state solution, who refuses to accept the possibility of a Palestinian state and yet no one in the US administration ever brings this up but that was enough to disqualify Hamas from governing the Palestinian territories.

And at that point, as we all know, a plan was put into place to create a division between Gaza and the West Bank what some in the Bush administration like to talk about as a three-state solution, ignore Gaza, shut it down, and show the…punish the Palestinians, starve the Palestinians, as the New York Times put it, into changing their minds and then you know lavish the West Bank with international aid to show the Palestinians what could happen if they just change their mind and support Fatah instead and obviously the result of that was this civil war between Gaza and the West Bank, between Hamas and Fatah which is one of many reasons why after my two weeks sojourn in Israel last month I’m now convinced that the peace process as it stands whose purpose is a two- state solution is gone, it’s dead, it’s buried, it’s over.  There will never be a Palestinian state and as I said on NPR it’s not so much that the peace process is dead as it was murdered, as it was killed and like any good murder mystery there are plenty of culprits involved.  One of them of course is Fatah and the geriatric leadership there which has done nothing to improve the lot of Palestinians despite hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid, certainly you’ve got to blame Hamas and there violent takeover of Gaza and the fact that the possibility of a contiguous unified Palestinian state at this point is a joke.  You must lay blame on the ideological secular movement in Israel, those religious Zionist that I was telling you about who are not interested in anything except what they referred to as Eretz Israel, biblical Israel, and who have an enormous amount of power because although they are very unpopular in Israel, they are part of the coalition that forms the government and let’s not forget to blame Likud and Binyamin Netanyahu, you know, this disingenuous idea about you know promoting indirect peace talks is just Netanyahu’s way of continuing to kick the can down the road until there is nothing left of Palestine to talk about the Netanyahu’s Jerusalem policy, right? He came to the United States and spoke at AIPAC and said Jerusalem is not occupied territory.  Jews have been building in Jerusalem for thousands of years and they’ll continue to build in Jerusalem as though what we were talking about was Jerusalem.  We’re talking about East Jerusalem which every nation on the planet has agreed is the future capital of the Palestinian state.