Not an article Ethan Bronner writes goes by without the obligatory claim that Hamas is dedicated to Israel’s destruction. Today’s story about the tension in Gaza between Islamizers and moderates within the Islamist movement is true to form:
It [Hamas] rejects Israel’s right to exist and remains doctrinally committed to its destruction. However, its leaders have said several times that if Israel were to leave all land taken in the 1967 war, Hamas could accept a Palestinian state limited to the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem…
If Hamas would accept a Palestinian state consisting of the current Occupied Territories, then ipso facto it does not reject Israel’s existence nor can it be committed to its destruction. In fact, many Israeli political, military and intelligence analysts concede that Hamas’ acceptance of a hudna is a tacit acceptance of Israel’s existence.
In fact, no senior leader of Hamas for several years has put forward the incrementalist notion that it may accept a hudna as a creeping process leading to Israel’s destruction and absorption into Palestine. Are there Palestinians who wish this outcome? Certainly, just as there are many Israeli Jews who wish Israeli Palestinian Arabs could be expelled from Israel. But the notion that Israel’s Arab citizens will be transferred out of the country is as far-fetched as the notion that Hamas will or can cause Israel’s destruction.
It’s long past time for Bronner to get with the program and acknowledge the myriad interviews of senior Hamas officials like Khaled Meshaal and others who have documented the moderating of the movement’s positions on these matters. Let’s put it plain and simple for him: Hamas currently does not reject Israel’s right to exist nor is it committed to its destruction (and for those of you out there who are anti-Palestinian partisans clamoring to bring up the Hamas charter, please point me to any evidence that any Hamas leader pays any attention whatsoever to it). The fact that Bronner stays stuck in the past is yet another proof that his reporting is neither careful nor balanced.
Yet another proof of this is a recent profile he wrote about the weekly Bilin demonstrations at the Separation Wall. He interviewed IDF officers and peace activists about their respective views of both the Wall and the demonstrations. But curiously, he noted the IDF claim that 170 soldiers had been wounded over time there (part of the claim that the demonstrators are not non-violent peace activists, but violent hoodlums). But Bronner somehow forgot to mention the Palestinian casualties at the Wall, which include one murdered Palestinian and one American left in a vegetative state by IDF fire in the past four months alone. Altogether, 19 Palestinians have been killed during demonstrations against the Wall. Why wasn’t this fact even whispered in Bronner’s article? Because he wanted his readers to focus on the flesh wounds suffered by Israeli soldiers when a few odd rocks are thrown their way by young Palestinians who violate the discipline invoked during these protests? Why did Ethan Bronner forget Palestinian suffering?