Legitimizing Hamas

[Weekly Standard] Matthew Levitt - Imagine the Alice in Wonderland scene when U.S. Secret Service agents entrusted with protecting former president Jimmy Carter stand guard over his meeting with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, the head of a designated terrorist group responsible for near daily attacks targeting civilians, including numerous attacks in which American citizens have been injured and killed. Hamas must be brought into the political process, not isolated, the theory goes, but Hamas is dead set against a two-state solution, as its refusal to disavow the use of violence makes clear. Whenever negotiators have come close to some type of Israeli-Palestinian agreement, Hamas has carried out attacks specifically aimed at derailing progress toward peace. According to declassified U.S. intelligence, cells under Meshaal's supervision "have been implicated in efforts by Hamas to plan large attacks that would undermine the road map peace plan." Engaging Hamas will not help the peace process; it will legitimize the group most violently opposed to such progress. The writer directs the Stein program on counterterrorism and intelligence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

2008-04-16 01:00:00

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