Hamas’s Negotiating Demands Seem Reasonable


Marc Ash | Reader Supported News - TRANSCEND Media Service

A bomb supplied by the US and dropped by Israel lies unexploded on a bed in a family home in Gaza. (photo: New York Times)

21 May 2021 – On the surface Hamas’s cease-fire negotiating demands, seen in context, seem reasonable:

That Israeli forces and police agree to never again enter the al-Aqsa mosque, as they did earlier this month, and that Palestinians living in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in disputed east Jerusalem not be evicted by Jewish settlers from homes their families have lived in since the 1950s.

Those really should not be insurmountable obstacles to peace.

It should be noted that the Israelis argue that the properties in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood were owned by Israeli Jews prior to the 1948 Balfour realignment. Perhaps, but who is to say?

The larger problem, a problem that lies at core of the long, bloody Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is the lack of a fair and impartial Judiciary to resolve land disputes. Which is critical because most Israeli-Palestinian violence can be traced back to land or property disputes.

The Israeli courts have historically leaned heavily in favor of the rights and arguments of Israelis in land and property disputes. While that’s no surprise, it leaves those who dispute land and property issues without a peaceful means of resolution, the cornerstone of a civil society.

It is important to consider Hamas’s demands carefully, but for real progress to be made there must be a fair and impartial judicial process to resolve land and property disputes between Israelis and Palestinians. Fair and impartial to Israelis and fair and impartial to Palestinians.

Truly fair and truly impartial being the only standard that will bring lasting peace. Hint: The Palestinians will agree to this, but the Israelis will likely be very resistant.


Marc Ash is the founder and former executive director of Truthout, and is now founder and editor of Reader Supported News.

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