Thursday, September 16, 2010

Does Anyone Seriously Think That Hamas Is Afraid These Talks Are Going To Succeed?

The common wisdom on how to explain the renewed terrorist attacks coming out of Gaza is that Hamas is afraid that the current peace talks are going to succeed and is doing whatever it can to disrupt them by forcing Israel to retaliate, thus putting pressure on Abbas to pull out.

If Hamas really thinks that the talks could prove successful, they are clearly in the minority.

Evelyn Gordon has a more realistic explanation why Hamas steps up the rocket attacks during peace negotiations--but to grasp the reason, you have to understand that Hamas is a terrorist group:

Viewed through this prism, the pattern of Hamas’s terror activity is easily explained: terror escalates whenever Hamas officials think they can get away with it and de-escalates when the danger of a devastating Israeli response becomes too great.

Thus, for instance, terror soared following the 1993 Oslo Accord because Hamas realized it was safe. The Rabin-Peres government, having promised that Oslo would bring peace, couldn’t politically admit it had brought war instead, so it had to downplay the attacks rather than responding. But when Benjamin Netanyahu was elected prime minister in 1996 on a platform of fighting terror, Hamas feared he might be less restrained and de-escalated. Thus the number of Israelis killed by Palestinian terror plummeted 70 percent from 1993-96 to 1996-99.

Similarly, after the 2005 disengagement, Hamas knew the Kadima-led government couldn’t politically admit its flagship initiative had brought war rather than peace. Thus Hamas could safely triple the volume of rocket fire, knowing Israel’s government would downplay it rather than responding.

Today, thanks to the peace talks, escalation is once again safe — because Hamas knows that if Israel responds forcefully, the PA will quit the talks, and the world will blame Israel. Thus, Israel is compelled to avoid responding.
But those who cling to the belief that Hamas is a democratically elected government--albeit staying in power, like Abbas, after their term has already expired--are reduced to claiming that Hamas is seeing the same reports that everyone else is and are concerned that they will succeed.

Technorati Tag: and .

1 comment:

NormanF said...

There will never be an agreement without Gaza. And since the PA's writ doesn't run there, the Hamas leaders are letting the Palestinians know they can remind the PA and the West peace is not the highest objective for them.