Putting the Impossible First

[Jerusalem Post] Barry Rubin - In the Middle East, the attempt to turn radicals into moderates, terrorism into resistance, serial political murderers into negotiating partners, and situations of total anarchy into great opportunities for diplomatic progress never ends. Far too much quality time of leaders, policymakers, and diplomats is spent on the impossible - or at least highly improbable. Like Syria and Iran, Hamas does not want to be moderate. Unlike them, it hardly pretends otherwise. It continues to make clear its virulent anti-Semitism and goal of destroying Israel. Yet a huge amount of time and energy is going into this dead-end effort at moderating Hamas. Suddenly, at the worst possible moment in history for success, resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has become the top priority for many governments. Fatah has collapsed; Hamas is extremist and believes time is on its side; and every Israeli concession has inspired escalation by the Palestinians and others. The writer is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center of the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.

2007-03-23 01:00:00

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