Why Israel Can't Make Peace with Hamas

[New York Times] Jeffrey Goldberg - In the summer of 2006, Nizar Rayyan, a member of the Hamas ruling elite and an unblushing executioner, who was killed two weeks ago, told this journalist, "First we must deal with the Muslims who speak of a peace process and then we will deal with you." As the Gaza war moves to a cease-fire, a crucial question will inevitably arise: Should Israel (and by extension, the U.S.) try to engage Hamas? But the question is unmoored from certain political and theological realities. Advocates of negotiation suggest that the hostility toward Jews expressed by Hamas is somehow mutable. But in years of listening, I haven't heard much to suggest that its anti-Semitism is insincere. Like Hizbullah, Hamas believes that God is opposed to a Jewish state in Palestine. I asked Rayyan: Could you agree to anything more than a tactical cease-fire with Israel? I felt slightly ridiculous asking: A man who believes that God every now and again transforms Jews into pigs and apes might not be the most obvious candidate for peace talks at Camp David. Rayyan answered that a long-term cease-fire would be unnecessary, because it will not take long for the forces of Islam to eradicate Israel.

2009-01-14 06:00:00

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