In 2009, a very senior European diplomat told me (and some other bloggers) that Hamas, which he characterized as “moderate,” is the party with which Israel must ultimately settle. (The word “moderate” in this context has nothing to do with ideology; rather it means, precisely, the party with which Israel is expected to settle).Read the whole thing.
So through the cease fire Obama was, I think, trying to give history (as he sees it) a nudge. He did so by (1) pushing a used up force (the PA) off of the stage and (2) giving Hamas the boost it needs to treated by Israel as an entity with whom peace needs to be made.
If this is what Obama is up to, one could argue against the effectiveness of both of those steps:
- While Abbas and the PA may be seem to just be going through the motions in seeking recognition at the UN, with no interest of engaging Israel nor being fully aware of the consequences of their actions, the fact remains that they are not remaining passive -- nor are they showing any willingness to bend to Obama's command.
- Hamas is already an entity that Israel has to deal with, and as far as peace is concerned, the destruction of Israel is still hardwired into the Hamas constitution.
[T]he liberal foreign policy establishment can now be expected overtly to echo the mainstreaming of Hamas line. Indeed, the Washington Post article I linked to yesterday — “Hamas tactics garner support” –can be seen as part of this process.Read the whole thing.
Today, Jackson Diehl, the Post’s Deputy Editorial Page Editor, adds his influential voice to the mainstreaming chorus. Hamas, he declares, not only has “the support of region’s richest and most powerful governments,” but it is “preferable to the most obvious Gazan alternative, which is jihadist movements even more closely tied to Iran.”
As Mirengoff notes, a potential peace partner for Israel does not magically become "moderate" because someone designates them a peace partner. More to the point, ranking Hamas among the list of radical terrorist groups in order to make them out to be the best alternative is a futile exercise.
But if this is Obama's new game for his second term -- trying to push Hamas and Israel together into some sort of agreement instead of Israel and the PA -- we are going to miss those years of deadlock.
If indeed there is a concerted effort going on to mainstream Hamas, as the following 2 Hamas music videos will attest -- the effort should be on actually moderating Hamas, not on moderating the perception of Hamas:
Hamas Music Video: We Kidnap Soldiers and Kill Jews
Hamas Music Video: Killing Jews Is Worship That Draws Us Close To Allah
Good luck with that.
Hat tip: Elder of Ziyon
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