In Professor Franks response to me in the Medium, he made the argument that I was simplifying the Palestine-Israel conflict citing only what I said about Hamass recognition of U.N. Resolution 242. Ironically, he simplifies by completely passing over 242 as if somehow Hamas is the only one pushing for the pre-1967 borders which calls for: complete withdrawal from Gaza, West Bank and East Jerusalem. This includes settling the Right of Return of Palestinians to their homes or in the environs of their homes (if they choose not to, receive compensation) and the illegal settlements issue. This has been the consensus of the entire world with only the U.S. and Israel voting against it for over 30 years, in virtual isolation. This is all on the U.N. website.
There is no Israeli party that agrees politically and geographically with the international consensus. There is plenty of talk regarding a Palestinian state by Israel but it is their own version which is not even close to 242. There is no map that exists of their concept for a reason: it comprises of cantons of Palestinian lands where Israeli borders, roads and checkpoints cut across them. That means Israel retains control of everything.
Hamass refusal to ideologically recognize Israel is rooted in the fact that they believe its creation is illegitimate in the first place. This fact is not alien to the founders of Israel. There is no example in history, Ben- Guiron stated framing the root problem, that a nation opens the gates of its country, not because of necessity … but because the nation which wants to come in has explained its desire to it. Former Israeli Foreign Minister and historian Schlomo Ben Ami argues that ethnic cleansing was part of the Zionist program.
The dilemma that is facing apologists for Israeli atrocities is clear: Here is an extremist group recognizing the international consensus in substance (politically and geographically) while Israel pays lip service to a two state that is not even remotely close to the international consensus.
Professor Frank can question Hamass sincerity all he wants but if Israel really wants to test if they are serious or not, there is a very easy way of doing so: take them to the negotiating table. They will not even do that. He may think the Hamas Charter is a hindrance but Israel is cognizant that it is not:
“[T]he Hamas leadership has recognized that its ideological goal is not attainable and will not be in the foreseeable future,” a former Mossad head recently observed. “[T]hey are ready and willing to see the establishment of a Palestinian state in the temporary borders of 1967….They know that the moment a Palestinian state is established with their cooperation, they will be obligated to change the rules of the game: They will have to adopt a path that could lead them far from their original ideological goals.” (What Hamas Wants, Mideast Mirror — 12/22/08)
Amos Elon, an Israeli commentator, wrote ten years after Sadats acceptance of the pre-1967 borders that Sadat caused panic amongst the Israeli leadership when he announced that he wanted a peace agreement by respecting secure and recognized borders. Since January 1976, all resolutions have been supported by nearly every single major Arab state, the PLO, Europe, the rest of the world and now Hamas. In 1987, the U.S. and Israel even barred a resolution condemning terrorism wherever and by whomever committed, taking hypocrisy to extraordinary levels, for obvious reasons.
The people of Gaza are being punished for democratically voting Hamas in. During the apartheid days in South Africa, the ANC and Mandela were declared as terrorists by the U.S. They did commit terror but they were eventually taken to the negotiating table. PLO was considered terrorist too but Israel negotiated with them.
Everyone wants peace; Hitler wanted peace, but on what terms? Clearly, the relevant framework is not what Israel wants — in complete defiance of international law and the world consensus — but what Palestinians are legally entitled to.