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Liberal and Progressive Jews Welcome Hamas/PA Reconciliation

Liberal and Progressive Jews Welcome Hamas/P.A. Reconciliation

News Release: From TIKKUN MAGAZINE, the voice of liberal and progressive Jews

Liberal and progressive Jews in the U.S. are mildly optimistic after the announcement of a reconciliation between the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas. Many believe that such a reconciliation bodes well for a lasting peace agreement, though not necessarily within the limited framework being proposed by Sec. of State Kerry.

Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun, expressed this sudden hopefulness: "For years those opposed to reconciliation between Israel and Palestine have maintained that Israeli negotiations with the Palestinian Authority were pointless, because the PA did not represent the most militant elements in the Palestinian world, organized in and around Hamas and the Gaza Strip. Today, those refusing peace, perhaps fearful that Israeli settlers would have to stop expanding their settlements, are condemning the reconciliation of Hamas and Palestine, showing the hypocrisy of their previous position. Most of us liberal and progressive Jews, strong supporters of Israel who know that Israel's survival can best be assured by a lasting peace with the Palestinian people, welcome this development. While we unequivocally oppose the use of violence, and have consistently denounced Hamas-sponsored acts of terrorism even as we similarly condemned the violence inherent in the daily reality of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and its blockade of Gaza, we understand that Hamas has agreed to honor all previous Palestinian agreements--a face-saving way to acknowledge the Palestinian Authority's public recognition of Israel and its commitment to a non-violent path toward achieving statehood. While violence prone Israeli-settlers and their champions in the Knesset , and Palestinian extremists, are both likely to engage in acts of violence against the civilians on both sides in the coming period in order to inflame passions and disrupt any progressive for peace, and those against reconciliation will almost certainly use those acts as proof that the other side cannot be trusted, there is a growing desire for peace in both Palestine and Israel, and Hamas' agreement to reconcile with the Palestinian Authority is a strong symbolic step toward recognizing that its own followers want to end this struggle and work out a peace agreement. It is therefore stupid and counter-productive for the U.S. government to react with skepticism and talk about his not being a good development when in fact we in the U.S. should be encouraging this development and urging Israel to accelerate its negotiations with the Palestinians now that the PA can speak for the entire Palestinian people currently living in Palestine."

ENDS

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