Negotiations must resume if there is to be lasting peace in the Middle East - Yorkshire Post Letters
Every time we hear a reporter from the war zone in Israel & Gaza use the word ‘Hamas’, we immediately hear a standard phrase about their status as a ‘terrorist organisation’; it is becoming so predictable that it must be a formal policy.
The Kikuyu people (from whom sprang another organisation “recognised by the UK government as terrorist”, the Mau-mau) had a traditional saying: “If you would take all from a man, be sure to leave him something of value.”
The Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank do not have statehood or citizenship; in this sense they do not perceive themselves to have ‘something of value’, and therefore have nothing to lose.
Israel has declared itself determined to eliminate Hamas. Physically, they are quite capable of doing this, but for their own long-term security, they must also eliminate the causes of Hamas. A failure to do this will inevitably create successors to Hamas and a perpetuation of the current crisis.
The only possible way forward is to resume the negotiations which culminated in the 1993 and 1995 Oslo Accords, which were ended by the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Itzak Rabin a few months later.
This must lead to the establishing of an independent Palestinian state in which its people can enjoy full and free citizenship alongside their Israeli neighbours.