February 13, 2024 – Dr. Kenneth Stein and Pastor Dr. Armando Alducin, Israel y el Medio Oriente Entrevista, (Israel and the Middle East) with Mauricio Friedman, (75 minutes in English and Spanish) 

Five points stressed in this Spanish-English interview.

1. Hamas’s purposeful mission as stated dozens of times by Hamas leaders in their own words, and in its founding 1988 Charter is to destroy Israel, degrade support for Israel among nations of the world, kill Jews, and delegitimize the Jewish state. Hamas proudly carries the banner of the militant element within the Palestinian Arab national movement that strenuously opposes Israel, Jews, and a Jewish state. 

2. Hamas’s genocide,  perpetrated against Israelis on October 7, 2023 occurred in the broader context of active antisemitism, that has four elements: sustained Aaryan racism against Jews reconstituted from the pre-Nazi past,  envy for Jewish successes, scape-goatism – blaming Jews for one’s individual and collective shortcomings (personal, economic, etc.), the upsurge of radical/ideological Islamic anti-Semitism that has grown since the early 2000s. This last element cleaves to the view that Jews are neither a people nor a nation, and they illegitimately created a state occupying all of Moslem land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. 

3. Though Israel has secured diplomatic recognition from 163 UN states, among them 6 Arab states, Turkey, and the PLO’s recognition of Israel in September 1993, Israel, as a predominantly Jewish state has not gained full acceptance from many states.  

4. When comparing the successful negotiations between Egyptian President Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Begin in the late 1970s with the present, then, neither Egypt nor Israel questioned the sovereignty of the other; today, neither Israel nor the Palestinians accept the full legitimacy of the other to have uncontested sovereignty, and this time the geographic area in question, that might lead to ‘land for peace’ is severely contested. Then, there was considerable trust between Sadat/Egypt and Begin/Israel. After October 7, 2023, a vast majority of Israelis are absolutely not prepared to embrace diplomacy with the Palestinians, regardless of their political leadership, especially with Hamas seeking to remain a key element in the Palestinian political landscape. 

5. Hopes and chatter about a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict must confront reality.  Former US Ambassador to Israel, Samuel W. Lewis, said at a conference in Florida in 2011, “the mediator, or external parties to the conflict cannot want an agreement more than respective sides do themselves.” And the cost to devolve a viable Palestinian entity or state over 7-10 years, will require between an estimated 2-3 billion dollars a year,  assuming there will be an effective and non-corrupt administration established to see the necessary state institutions evolve and sustain themselves.   

Ken Stein, February 17, 2024