It remains to be seen if the Obama administration's mantra of never letting a good crisis go to waste will actually help bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians any closer. But even as Secretary Clinton and Prime Minister Netanyahu try to mend fences over the ill-timed announcement, during Vice President Biden's visit, of new apartments in a Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem, American officials were careful not to refer to the 800-pound gorilla of hate in the room -- Hamas.
While there is plenty of blame to around as to why the peace process is currently going nowhere fast, Hamas' self-declared toxic core value of the hatred of Jews poisons new generations of Palestinians and leaves Israel's middle-of-the-road, (mostly) silent majority further to the Right.
For while diplomats may sign treaties, it is people who make peace and the people of Israel have every right to ask this basic question: When will the hate end? What positive changes on the ground will happen the day after implementing the Two-State solution?
It is painfully important for today's peacemakers to remember that both the 1993 Oslo Accord and the 2003 so-called "Road Map" banned Palestinian incitement and in both cases, those promises weren't worth the paper they were written on.
The New York Times headline reads: "Hamas' Insults to Jews Complicate Peace". But that article has nothing to do with Joe Biden's Jerusalem visit. It appeared in April 2009 and goes on to quote, Sheik Yunus al-Astal, a Hamas legislator and imam, in Al Risalah analyzing a Koranic verse suggesting, "suffering by fire is the Jews' destiny in this world and the next."
"The reason for the punishment of burning is that it is fitting retribution for what they have done," Mr. Astal wrote last March. "But the urgent question is, is it possible that they will have the punishment of burning in this world, before the great punishment" of hell? Many religious leaders believe so, he said, adding, "Therefore we are sure that the holocaust is still to come upon the Jews."
Nothing has changed since the New York Times article appeared 12 months ago. Here's Hamas' Abdallah Jarbu, Deputy Minister of Religion, co-opting Nazi propaganda by labeling Jews "bacteria":
"The Jews suffer from a mental disorder, because they are thieves and aggressors. A thief or an aggressor, who took property or land, develops a psychological disorder and pangs of conscience, because he took something that wasn't his.
They want to present themselves to the world as if they have rights, but, in fact, they are foreign bacteria - a microbe unparalleled in the world. It's not me who says this. The Koran itself says that they have no parallel: "You shall find the strongest men in enmity to the believers to be the Jews."
May He annihilate this filthy people who have neither religion nor conscience. I condemn whoever believes in normalizing relations with them, whoever supports sitting down with them, and whoever believes that they are human beings. They are not human beings. They are not people. They have no religion, no conscience, and no moral values."
- Hamas' Minister of Religion as reported by MEMRI
But is it just Hamas? Not really. While the Obama administration excoriated Israel, the State Department remained stoically silent as the Palestinian Authority was planning a special ceremony, during Vice President Biden's trip to the Holy Land, to name a public square in Ramallah after arch terrorist, Dalal Mughrabi, who led a 1978 bus hijacking in which 37 Israelis, including 12 children, were murdered.
Exposed by Palestinian Media Watch, the ceremony was canceled, but not the hate. The launch did end up taking place that day, with the youth division of Fatah, the faction of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, playing a lead role.
Memo to President Obama and all other peacemakers: Want Peace? Make them Stop the Hate!
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