"Is Hamas Ready to Recognize Israel?" (Jeffrey Goldberg)
Since this reality is discouraging, it is perhaps not surprising that even some well-meaning and otherwise intelligent people feel compelled to engage in strained, implausible, and at times absurdly gullible interpretations of ambiguous statements from Hamas figures to try to pretend that they have said it, or at least have hinted at it, or perhaps might be on the verge of hinting it, and so on. (And then there are also straightforward propagandists engaged in conscious deception and deliberate obfuscation. But not all the people I've just described fall into that category.)
It is not impossible that Hamas might eventually move in this direction (as the PLO did, with great reluctance and under pressure of urgent necessity, a decade and a half ago). If and when this actually happens--that is, if and when Hamas takes the first step toward at least being ready to pretend that its goal is a genuine Israeli-Palestinian peace based on mutual recognition and a two-state solution--then we can talk about it. Meanwhile, with respect to the reality of the current situation, Jeffrey Goldberg's dry sarcasm is hard to improve upon.
January 22, 2010
Is Hamas Ready to Recognize Israel?
There's been a lot of talk lately that Hamas is readying itself to moderate its stance toward Israel (see this piece by Fawaz Gerges, for instance). I haven't been to Gaza or Syria in a while now, so I have no firsthand way of knowing what's what. One argument is that Hamas, now in charge of actual territory, is maturing; another argument is that last year's Israeli incursion proved to Hamas that it can't defeat its enemy militarily. Nevertheless, Hamas leaders this week are saying that there is no change in the group's position, that it continues to deny Israel's right to exist.
In related news, Israel continues to exist.