Caroline is her usual must-read self in the Jerusalem Post, beginning with:
Another ordinary week has come and gone in southern Israel. Bombarded by rockets from Hamastan in Gaza, residents of Sderot, Ashkelon and nearby towns watched as their national leaders conducted negotiations by proxy with Hamas to release hundreds of terrorists in Israeli jails and consolidate Hamas’s weapons supply lines by suspending Israeli counter-terror operations during a “cease-fire.” Between trips to the local bomb shelter, they watched Israeli trucks deliver fuel and supplies to Hamas in Gaza in the morning and they watched Hamas store the fuel and supplies in depots near the border in the afternoon. In the evening they watched news reports echoing Hamas’s claims that Israel is depriving Gazan hospitals of fuel and Gazan civilians of basic foodstuffs.
The most depressing part is the discussion of Secretary Rice’s recent speech to the American Jewish Committee. In that setting at least, Condi apparently abandoned her standard nonsense about how most Palestinians simply want to live in peace, side-by-side with Israel. It’s downhill from there, though:
In her remarks Tuesday before the American Jewish Committee, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice acknowledged that Palestinian society today overwhelmingly supports Israel’s annihilation through terrorism when she said: “Increasingly, Palestinians who talk about a two-state solution are my age. And I’m not that old, but I’m a lot older than most of the Palestinian population.” But then, after acknowledging that most Palestinians do not support peaceful coexistence with Israel, Rice argued that Israel must give them more land, more guns and more money because as she sees it, now is the time for a Palestinian state and leaders need to “make hard decisions confidently for the sake of peace and for the sake of their people.” Rice went on to explain that this appeasement must be done while enabling the Hamas regime in Gaza to remain in place. As she put it, “The only responsible policy is to isolate Hamas and defend against its threats, until Hamas makes the choice that supports peace.”
So from Rice’s perspective, not only must Hamas not be defeated, it would be irresponsible to even try to defeat it. The only “responsible” policy for Israel is to allow Hamas to continue stockpiling arms and building its army while trying to reach a cease-fire with it. Then too, as far as Rice is concerned, Israel must curb its counterterrorist operations in Judea and Samaria, dry out Israeli communities there and in post-1967 Jerusalem neighborhoods and allow US-trained and armed Fatah militias (who are also terror-supporting) to deploy in Palestinian towns and cities by the thousands. This, she believes, is the best way to make Hamas transform itself into a peaceful political party willing to live at peace with Jews.