The subject of his article is Shaul Mofaz, an Israeli politician who is leading the Kadima Party. Ordinarily someone in a left wing party would be well liked on the Huffington Post, but Mofaz is still Israeli. Kuttab introduces him and complains about (drumroll) preconditions! You remember, those things that would be so evil if Israel demanded them of the Palestinians and yet are totally fine when the Palestinians demand them of Israel?
"Before doing that, however, Palestinians must fulfill conditions -- but Mofaz's conditions (recognizing Israel, abandoning terrorism and accepting past agreements) have already been met by the Palestine Liberation Organization in both word and deed so it is unclear whether these conditions are indeed being demanded of the PLO or Hamas. "Really, Kuttab? It's not unclear. The Palestinians have to abide by those conditions no matter who is leading them. Hamas hasn't, and so Hamas must. Let's not forget either that the PLO has not recognized Israel as a Jewish state and often participate in events where they make it clear they have not abandoned the phased plan. Also I might add that these are not "Mofaz's conditions." He did not make htem up on his own. Every Israeli leader and the Quartet has had the exact same expectations of the Palestinian governments for years now. It's rather disingenuous for Kuttab to imply that these conditions belong to Mofaz and him alone.
After complaining that the Palestinians wouldn't trust Israel to keep up their end of the bargain, Kuttab then moves on to more ridiculous claims:
"Moreover, the idea that, every time Israel has to carry out a withdrawal that is part of a signed agreement, it should request some kind of reciprocation from Palestinians is illogical."Really? Because the Quartet didn't think so. What makes the idea illogical? Israel is making a concession and so the Palestinians make a concession in return. That's the basic idea behind compromise. If the key phrase here is "part of a signed agreement," then the Palestinians should also make a concession that is part of that signed agreement. Like ending that indoctrination of children to kill Jews which Mr. Kuttab continues to deny even exists. The PLO has promised quite a few times not do that any more, yet mysteriously it continues.
After making some personal remarks about Mofaz's background, Kuttab makes some demands of his own. Ready to hear them?
"As in cases of chronic alcoholism or other types of substance abuse, the way forward begins with an admission of the problem followed by active steps to remedy it. Israeli leaders from the left and right continue to stick their heads in the sand and deny that they as an occupying power are the guilty party and that they have caused the perpetuation of the conflict. This is not a case that calls for reciprocity."Yep, that's right. In Mr. Kuttab's world the only way there will be peace is if the Israelis admit that they are entirely in the wrong and Mr. Kuttab's people are entirely in the right. Isn't that logical? I expect Mr. Kuttab also expects the Israelis to say that their peace offers to the Palestinians in 1948, 1992, 2000, 2002, and 2008 were not good enough and that suicide bombing their people is justified. It's a good thing that Mr. Kuttab is not a politician because he wouldn't make for a good one.
That being said, I know that Mr. Kuttab does not speak for the Palestinian people but if he did this goes to show why the conflict has perpetuated, and not for the reason he thinks it does. Mr. Kuttab clearly thinks that the Palestinians are justified in everything they do (I cannot remember him criticizing the Palestinians even once) and 100% of the blame for this situation falls on the heads of the Israelis. I doubt that even Benjamin Netanyahu has that much black and white thinking going on, and yet among the Palestinians and on the Huffington Post such beliefs are not even controversial.
Kuttab concludes by saying that Israel should take steps toward indicating that the occupation will end, that it is not permanent. I agree with this, but also that the Palestinians should work toward peace as well. This is something they have not done and don't appear to have any intention of doing. Don't expect an article by Mr. Kuttab about this though. He is too busy demanding satellite TVs for child killers.