Settler Rabbi, Hamas Journalist Propose Gaza Ceasefire
Rabbi Menachem Froman, the iconoclastic settler religious leader who embraces Muslim-Jewish religious dialogue and peace initiatives, reached agreement with a Hamas journalist for an Israeli-Hamas ceasefire in Gaza. Senior Hamas figures have enthusiastically endorsed the proposal. Ehud Olmert is silent:
…[The] recently drafted a cease-fire agreement…includes the release of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, [and] was submitted to the cabinet and to the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip.
Rabbi Menachem Froman of the West Bank settlement of Tekoa has for years been involved in interfaith dialogue toward Israeli-Palestinians peace. For several months he has been working closely with Khaled Amayreh, a Hebron-area journalist who is close to Hamas.
“Our proposal was presented to the highest political echelon in the Hamas government in Gaza and gained 100-percent approval,” Amayreh told Haaretz Sunday, while refusing to name the government officials. Froman said the document was presented to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who has yet to respond to it.
Even if the attempt turns out to be merely an academic exercise, say Froman and Amayreh, its elements could be used by the Jerusalem and Gaza governments. It does not, for example, include the recognition by Hamas of the State of Israel, instead “recognizing that there are Jews living in the Holy Land,” according to Froman.
…The proposal calls for Israel to lift its sanctions on the Gaza Strip, permit economic relations between Gaza and the outside world and open all border crossings. The Israel Defense Forces would end “all hostile activities toward the Gaza Strip, including targeted assassinations, the setting of ambushes, aerial bombardments and all penetrations into Gazan territory, in addition to ending the arrest, detention and persecution of Palestinians in the Strip.”
The Palestinians would be obligated “to take all the necessary steps to completely end the attacks against Israel,” including stopping “indefinitely all rocket attacks on Israel,” assaults “on Israeli civilians and soldiers” and “to impose a cease-fire on all groups, factions and individuals operating in the Strip.”
There you have it. Almost everything Israel has wanted from Hamas for as long as anyone can remember. All tied up in a neat package. All there for the taking. Of course, the provision recognizing that Jews live in the Holy Land appears lame as reported by Haaretz since it states the obvious. But I’ve learned that it’s important to see entire original documents before judging them based on how they are reported in Israeli media. It should also be noted that, at least to me, recognition of Israel is an issue that should happen as part of an overall peace agreement and not necessarily before such final status negotiations occur. I expect Hamas to recognize Israel, but not necessarily right now; nor do I think it is critical that it do so right now.
It is characteristic of Israeli government lassitude that Olmert has not responded nor would I expect him to do so. Remember, this is the same Menachem Froman whom the Shin Bet prevented from attending previous negotiations with Hamas. Unfortunately, Israeli politicians don’t want to touch Froman with a ten foot poll. In fact, he’s dangerous to the intelligence establishment since he has a wild card status as a co-founder of Gush Emunim and settler advocate for peace. And it’s a shame since he is a critical voice willing to reach a peace agreement with Israel’s sworn enemy Hamas. To paraphrase Abba Eban, Israelis and Palestinians never seem to miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. This time the onus is on Olmert.
18 thoughts on “Settler Rabbi, Hamas Journalist Propose Gaza Ceasefire – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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This is a rather new development, and might make me take back my earlier comment about previous refusal of Hamas to half rocket attacks by other armed factions into Sderot. I am all for a genuine and meaningful ceasefire/hudna/whatever.
I think the religious voices for peace, of which Rabbi Menachem Froman is a prominent figure, plays a very important bridge to an Islamic faction that appreciates religious sincerity.
1) We have not seen this supposed agreement so why should we believe it is an acceptable agreement
2) Why should we believe that the Hamas leadership accepts it since no names were named
3) Why should we believe anything Khaled Amayreh says. Amayreh himself is fiercely opposed to a two state solution and is uncompromising on the Palestinian right of return – if you don’t believe me, just google his name.
I myself doubt that the Hamas has agreed to a seperate cease fire which would include the Gaza strip but not the West Bank as is implied from this article. They’ll just use the first incident in the West Bank to say Israel broke the agreement and then resume fire after being given what they want. Like after the disengagement. The Hamas was relatively quiet during the disengagement because they wanted the IDF out. About ten days after the last Israeli soldier was out of Gaza there was an accidental explosion at a Hamas rally which was the fault of the hamas and killed 15 to 30 people. They blamed Israel (what’s new) and resumed kassam rocket attacks on Sderot.
Israel gets nothing from this agreement except for a promise that the Palestinians “would take all necessary steps…blah, blah blah” We’ve been given this promise many times. It’s not worth a thing.
We also get Gilad Shalit. Which is good. The agreement also says we release ALL Palestinian prisoners (from Haaretz in Hebrew, for some reason not mentioned in the English version). I would consider releasing all prisoners in a final peace agreement, but not for a ceasefire, and a phony one at that.
If you expect Hamas to recognize Israel, as you say you do, your’e in for a disappointment. The Hamas will never recognize Israel. It’s against their religion (as they see it). Read the Hamas charter from beginning to end.
You and Rabbi Froman believe in fantasies. (No offense intended).
Amir: I agree that the entire document should be published & examined. I meant to check Jerusalem Peacemakers website to see if it’s there.
So did Herzl. Im tirzu ein zo agadah (roughly translated “if you want it [to be] it is no fairy tale;” for my purposes I’d stretch that last word to include “fantasy”).
I am amazed how so many people immediately react with sneering disgust to positive plans for peace. O Ye of little faith!
I prefer to encourage all signs of progress, as i would encourage sprouts growing in the garden. You’ll never get tomatoes if you keep stomping on the seedlings because they aren’t tomatoes yet.
“Positive plans for peace”? With Hamas? I’m amazed that people can be so deluded.
Richard Silverstein: “I agree that the entire document should be published & examined.”
Oh, yes. Examine away. Let’s see how much reality — and blood-stained lessons from the past — you can ignore as you peruse this sacred document.
I’m sorry Leila for being a party pooper.
Article 13 of the Hamas covenant states: “Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement.” and “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors. The Palestinian people know better than to consent to having their future, rights and fate toyed with.”
I suggest you read the entire convenant.
Forgive me for not taking the Froman initiative very seriously.
Amir, you seem to enjoy living in fear, resentment and the war that engenders.
Exactly who do you expect will make peace with you, your friends? You make peace with your enemies, and you do that by talking, coming to agreement, and seeing how many of your people will follow.
But hey, if you really want to keep on killing Arabs because you’re afraid that Arabs want to kill you, well, I can’t stop you. I can pray for you.
Amir: I suggest you read up on the Israeli Declaration of Independence & tell me how close is Israel to realizing its principles. Founding documents of organizations & countries tend to either be ignored or not implemented. They’re essentially meaningless unless followers actually use them to inform their actions or behavior. Most Hamas leaders & members don’t know what’s in this document which you claim informs Hamas’ every currnet action. Hamas’ activities are based on current reality & pragmatic considerations (at least pragmatic in their terms, if not yrs). Their founding document is completely irrelevant to them.
Amir, I’m sure, does not enjoy living in fear. He simply lives in the real world, unlike you. He recognizes the undeniable fact that sometimes, tragically, we must face implacable enemies that do not want peace, who will never give up their goal to destroy us no matter how hard we try to make nice with them.
Wonderful! Now you’re accusing poor Amir of wanting to kill Arabs simply because he pointed out the obvious about the Hamas charter.
I am praying for people like you to wake up before it’s too late.
PCM knows neither Leila nor Amir since he’s new here. I can assure him that if anyone’s in the real world it’s Leila & not Amir. No one “enjoys” living in fear, but some people do it even though they don’t need to do so. Amir & those Israelis who fear a peace agreement with Palestinians do precisely this.
And you think being a National Review fan entitles you to say you’re living in the real world?? And when was the last time that you or Israel ever “made nice” to the Palestinians??
As for killing Arabs, you apparently don’t understand that Amir is an Israeli-American (or so he claims) and that Leila was speaking generally about Israel (of whom Amir is a citizen I presume) killing Arabs.
I followed your suggestion and read Israel’s declaration of Independance from beginning to end. I admit that I hadn’t done that before. So arguing with has been educational as well. Israel’s Declaration of Independance is a document that I would be proud to have signed. I think I could agree with every sentence in it. It tells us something of the values of the people that founded the state of Israel. It’s not true that the document is ignored. Since Israel does not have a constitution (as you have pointed out many times) the Declaration of Independance is one of the documents used by the Israeli Higher courts to test the validity of laws passed by the Knesset or decisions by other Israeli institutions. Laws and decisions which are found by the courts to be discrimanatory or contrary to the principles in this document are reversed or cancelled (maybe not always to your satisfaction). How close is Israel to realizing these principles? Well, I think they are closer today then they were 50 years ago when the Israeli Arab population was living under military rule, and I hope that in the future we will be even closer to realizing these ideals. The point is this is a document that I think Israel should strive to live up to.
But, whereas the Israeli Declaration of Independance says “it (Israel) will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.” the Hamas charter says: “This Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS), clarifies its picture, reveals its identity, outlines its stand, explains its aims, speaks about its hopes, and calls for its support, adoption and joining its ranks. Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. It is a step that inevitably should be followed by other steps. The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah’s victory is realised.”
According to the Hamas charter I am it’s enemy. I have no intention of waiting around to see if they live up to their ideals or fall short of them. Thank you very much.
And you know this, how?
Since you are probably going to use my admission that I hadn’t read the Israeli Declaration of Independence as proof that these documents are meaningless, I will just point out that the sections pertinent to this discussion I have read before, they have been discussed in the media, and you can bet that Dorit Beinish knows very well. Your average Gazan might not have read the Hamas charter, but the leaders of Hamas certainly have. Hamas isn’t so old. Todays leaders of Hamas probably participated in writing it.
I like this document too & would have been honored to sign it. But that’s not the pt. This document is honored in the breach perhaps, but is little more than window dressing. Saying Israel observes the Declaraction more faithfully today than it did 50 years ago is true, but isn’t saying much since placing the Israeli Arab community under military administration was a grave injustice to them & serious violation of the very Declaration to which you claim Israel tries so faithfully to adhere. Israel currently honors and observes none of these principles regarding its Arab population.
As for my knowledge of how the Hamas covenant is observed within the Hamas movement–many newspaper articles have been written precisely on this subject. Look up “Hamas” at this blog & you’ll find at least one from an Israel paper I believe. There was also at least one in the NYT which I may’ve written about.
And you know this how? THrough personal knowledge? You’re wrong. The reporter in one of those articles I mentioned above asked Hamas leaders about anti-Semitic provisions of the covenant & first they flat out denied they were there & second when told they WERE clearly hadn’t read the document at all. I’ve also reported here on efforts to rewrite the Hamas covenant organized by Hamas leaders. But unfortunately events have taken such a turn for the worse in Gaza that I’m sure those efforts have been put on hold. Staying alive is a little more important than rewriting musty old documents.
Again, you know this how?
Finally, this is the LAST comment dealing with the Hamas covenant. I’m not going to discuss it nor are you (at least not here). It’s irrelevant period. If it’s relevant to you then peddle those wares elsewhere. I’m simply not interested.
This is from today’s Haaretz:
It looks like I’m the one living in the real world after all.
Hamas as spelled out its plans in detail and ACTS ACCORDINGLY.
Yet you refuse to see the obvious.
“Finally, this is the LAST comment dealing with the Hamas covenant. I’m not going to discuss it nor are you (at least not here). It’s irrelevant period. If it’s relevant to you then peddle those wares elsewhere. I’m simply not interested.”
You’re not interested, Richard, because the arguments you make on behalf of Hamas are BEYOND pathetic and ridiculous. Anyone with a brain can see that.
“But unfortunately events have taken such a turn for the worse in Gaza that I’m sure those efforts have been put on hold.”
Yep, blame those damn Jews again!
Hats off to Amir for helping to expose you for what you are: a close-minded, arrogant, spoiled sore loser who’s decided to walk off with the ball, all because he’s losing the game.
Amir, you’re doing sloppy reading. The Hamas rep merely rejected an effort by the group’s arch enemy Abbas to broker a ceasefire. It didn’t reject a ceasefire per se. It of course has oftentimes stated its willingness to negotiate a ceasefire with Israel.
PCM: I don’t make any arguments “on behalf of” Hamas. I am not a proponent of Hamas.
And if you don’t like what you read here go somewhere else. I surely didn’t invite you here.
Apparently, there are a good number of other readers who find that I do indeed have a brain & might surmise that you’re the one whose mental & analytical capacities are lacking. Not to mention that you’re an insulting twerp & deeply annoying to boot. I think I’m going to offer you an extended hiatus from commenting here.
If Hamas wants a ceasefire all they have to do is cease fire. Israel would follow sould. They have said so a zillion times. It is also the logic behind the unilateral Israeli withdrawal. What Rabbi Froman presented is not a ceasefire proposal but a list of demands (release terrorists, allow us unlimited ability to bring in more weapons) etc.
Oh, you mean something along the lines of the Gaza withdrawal? That bit of unilateralism sure worked out swell didn’t it. I’m afraid they’re is a little too much bad blood bet. the sides for there to be that must trust on Hamas’ part that Israel would “follow suit.” I wouldn’t trust Israel to do so but I’m glad at least one of us does.