Immediately after the massacre of eight students in a yeshiva library in
The Palestinian struggle is no longer about creating an independent state. It is about being a front-line participant in the Iranian-led jihad to destroy
Ironically, Hamas was initially more reluctant than Fatah to enter into an Iranian alliance, precisely because the Sunni Hamas takes religion more seriously than Fatah and was loathe to accept the authority of the Iranian Shiites. But that squeamishness ended three years ago with a formal alliance, orchestrated by the Damascus-based Hamas leader, Khaled Meshal, and today Hamas is an integral part of the Iranian war against
The jihadist war against
In contending with Hezbollah and Hamas,
A ceasefire with Hamas--which Prime Minister Ehud Olmert seems to be implementing even as he denies it--may well be the worst option of all. Hamas will likely use that interim period to turn itself into a second Hezbollah, equipped with Iranian weapons. And when Hamas feels empowered to break the ceasefire and resume its attacks,
To deal effectively with the jihad requires an awareness that Israel is in fact at war with the Iranian regime, which manipulates proxies along Israel's borders, supplying them with weapons and training, and energizing them with the promise of imminent victory.
According to a just-released strategic assessment by the Israeli intelligence community, 2008 will be the "Year of Iran." The Lebanese government, warns the assessment, could collapse in the coming months, allowing Hezbollah to take power. Meanwhile, Hezbollah and Hamas are considering a coordinated rocket assault on Israeli population centers, almost all of which are within rocket range of either group. And, according to the strategic assessment, sometime within the coming year, or by early 2009 at the latest,
Following the yeshiva massacre, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown speculated that the gunman was attempting to "derail" the peace process. Brown's implication, widely shared in the West, is that the best way to defeat the jihadists is to create a Palestinian state.
But a viable Palestinian state living peacefully beside
Yossi Klein Halevi is a contributing editor of The
By Yossi Klein Halevi