Gaza’s Problems Make Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks Futile

Palestine’s Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu have their elbows twisted to the breaking point.

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I would love to be wrong. But the Obama administration's decision to force Israel and the Palestinian Authority to sit down for peace talks strikes me as nothing but mere grandstanding. There's a three-sided war going on among Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah Party controls the West Bank. But Gaza is controlled by militant Hamas which seized it from the Palestinian Authority three years ago.

Hamas fighters murdered four Israeli soldiers this week as the talks began. How can two sides negotiate as long as Hamas flouts Palestinian Authority control? According to Fox News:

Hamas refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist despite that acknowledgment by the Palestinian Authority more than a decade ago.

Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have their elbows twisted to the breaking point by President Obama, who has done nothing less than demand their presence at these talks. But as long as the Gaza problem continues to exist, there can be no peace for Israel.

Gaza is the world's most overpopulated spot with a fertility rate of more than 6 births per woman. Unemployment hovers around 50 percent. Many restive young, uneducated, unemployed men are more than willing to sacrifice their own lives to kill Israelis or Palestinians they see as disloyal to their cause. As long as poverty and lack of education rule Gaza, which is the case today, there is no chance for a lasting peace in the Middle East.