Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Can Israel Respond To Hamas 'Overtures'?

Hamas seems interested in peace:
“I promise the American administration and the international community that we will be part of the solution, period,” the leader, Khaled Meshal, said during a five-hour interview with The New York Times spread over two days in his home office here in the Syrian capital.
Granted Meshal is saying he will be part of the solution--but he does not give details, and certainly is not interested in fulfilling the 3 conditions bandied about by those who encourage talking to Hamas: recognizing Israel, accepting past agreements, and renouncing terror.

..His conciliation went only so far, however. He repeated that he would not recognize Israel, saying to fellow Arab leaders, “There is only one enemy in the region, and that is Israel.”
Not recognizing Israel indicates that real peace is not on the table--and one wonders just which enemies Meshal has in mind outside of the region.

And lest you think that Hamas actually is talking about peace--
On the two-state solution sought by the Americans, he said: “We are with a state on the 1967 borders, based on a long-term truce. This includes East Jerusalem, the dismantling of settlements and the right of return of the Palestinian refugees.” Asked what “long-term” meant, he said 10 years.
Israel is expected to give up all that--for a 10 year Hudna, after which rocket attacks (and worse) against schools will recommence.

Meshal's words are mere rhetoric, the kinds of claims we have seen before as Hamas continues to claim that they can no longer be ignored in order for there to be peace in the region. Yet, Jonas Goldberg notes:
But, if Hamas says that it's willing to tear-up its own charter and accept pre-1967 borders, it seems to me that Israel and the U.S. cannot simply ignore that. How either should respond is an interesting question. But before people get too excited, it's worth noting that Khaled Meshal, the ostensible leader of Hamas, is not calling for peace with Israel.

...This, it seems to me, is an open admission that Hamas is seeking a "hudna" with Israel. Maybe that's progress of some kind. I would love to see Israel exploit such overtures to its advantage (and to the advantage of the Palestinians) — by which I mean moving the country closer to living at peace with its neighbors. But, I have no good idea how to do that.
But there really is nothing there to exploit. To 'call Hamas's bluff' is at best to obligate Israel to a 10-year ceasefire, keeping in mind the unreliability of Hamas ceasefires in the past. During that time, Hamas gets a breather during which he acquires more funds to clean up the mess it caused in Gaza, rearms with the help of Iran, and readies itself for renewed attacks--which make come before the 10 year ceasefire is over, if it can provoke Israel as it has in the past.

Hamas's is making an offer that can be refused, because in reality--Hamas is merely offering more of the same.

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Morselaux said...

Mashal meant the "final solution", of course.

Daled Amos said...

Yes, of course.