Bringing in Hamas Will Undo the Peace Process

[Ha'aretz] David Makovsky - Advocates for engaging Hamas argue that if it is given a stake in the creation of an independent Palestine by being included in peace negotiations, it will moderate its positions. This argument is based on the misguided assumption that Hamas is a pragmatic nationalistic movement. However, Hamas is ideologically motivated, and misunderstanding its worldview is damaging. The growing Islamification of Gaza reflects Hamas' ideology, rooted in the philosophy of its parent movement, the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas has persistently refused to accede to the consistent demand of Egyptian intelligence head Gen. Omar Suleiman that it adhere to past Israeli-Palestinian agreements. Thus, clearly, Hamas' ideological rigidity greatly outweighs its pragmatism and political flexibility. Bringing in Hamas will not give peace a chance; it will likely undo and discredit peacemaking, crippling the nascent Palestinian institutions of PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. The writer is director of the project on the Middle East peace process at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

2009-10-23 06:00:00

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