In yesterday’s Haaretz, long-time columnist Akiva Eldar chastises the U.S. for effectively blocking peace talks between Israel and Syria, and potentially Israel and the Palestinians. He says, “If Syria is the enemy of Middle East peace, then perpetuation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be considered a handsome consolation prize for Damascus. And why would Hamas, which is bending over backwards not to recognize Israel’s right to exist, want to remove the obstacles to such an arrangement? If the U.S. and its Quartet partners, not to mention the Israeli government, truly want to bypass Hamas on the road to the final- status agreement, then why are they granting it veto power over the peace process?”
He explains his logic, and argument for pursuing peace now with both the Syrians and Palestinians in his article, which follows the jump. He also highlights an important forthcoming date in Mecca that will force Hamas to either accept the existence of Israel, or turn against its Arab brethren. That will be a meeting to watch.