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Find out what triggered the Nutshell presentations, the feedback we receive, the struggle to keep the presentations on-line, and why in so many languages ...

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Since the Oslo Accords, Israeli public opinion has shifted. More and more Israelis now believe that the current state of occupation is wrong, that the Palestinian Arabs deserve their own state, and that most of them look forward to living in peace alongside Israel. The support of the Gaza disengagement by the majority of Israel's Jewish population goes to prove this point.

And then, just when everything seems to be going in the right direction, the Palestinians elect HAMAS to serve as their chosen government. Not just a minority or even a slender majority, but the vast bulk of the Palestinian Arabs voted for HAMAS.

The HAMAS Charter of 1988, or "The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement", as they themselves call it in English, is no secret. They publish their beliefs quite openly, stating their basic premise that the State of Israel has no right to exist.

This brings us to an interesting point, when we consider the source of this premise. Article 11 of the HAMAS Charter states as follows:

"The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. ...

This is the law governing the land of Palestine in the Islamic Sharia (law) and the same goes for any land the Moslems have conquered by force, because during the times of (Islamic) conquests, the Moslems consecrated these lands to Moslem generations till the Day of Judgement.

... When the leaders of the Islamic armies conquered Syria and Iraq, they sent to the Caliph of the Moslems, Umar bin-el-Khatab, asking for his advice concerning the conquered land - whether they should divide it among the soldiers, or leave it for its owners, or what? After consultations and discussions ... it was decided that the land should be left with its owners who could benefit by its fruit. As for the real ownership of the land and the land itself, it should be consecrated for Moslem generations till Judgement Day. ...This Waqf remains as long as earth and heaven remain. Any procedure in contradiction to Islamic Sharia, where Palestine is concerned, is null and void."

In plain language, this means, according to HAMAS and their interpretation of the Koran, that when the Islamic forces conquered this area by force of arms so many centuries ago, the land was declared to be holy Muslim land for eternity. Their claim to the land, therefore, is not based on any Islamic presence in the region, but on the simple fact that they conquered the land.

Israel also conquered the land - in the time of Joshua, well before the Islamic conquests, and again - repeatedly, and out of existential necessity - in the twentieth century. If the HAMAS claim to the land is based solely on conquest, with what logic can they deny Israel the same right?

The unfortunate reality we now have to face, as Israelis, is the fact that the majority of Palestinian Arabs, in supporting HAMAS, do not accept the right of Israel to exist.

There are no longer any Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip. But, instead of pouring resources and efforts into the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to create the necessary infrastructure for a democratic, peace-seeking nation that cares for its citizens, the HAMAS is laying the foundations for a fundamental Islamic State.

Instead of maintaining the momentum and keeping the Peace Process going, and opening a door to the possibility of peace, they are going back to Square One and the three "Nos" of the 1967 Arab Summit Conference in Khartoum.