Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Extending an Open Hand to Hamas

Bush's idea of dealing with Hamas was to send in arms and money to spark a civil war among the Palestinians hoping to overthrow the Palestinian's democratically elected government.

Today's Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has brought Hamas a different message. Where Bush/Cheney said we won't deal with Hamas, Clinton has said we won't deal with Hamas unless...

"We will not deal with nor in any way fund a Palestinian government that includes Hamas unless and until Hamas has renounced violence, recognized Israel and agrees to follow the previous obligations of the Palestinian Authority," Clinton told the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs committee.

Clinton said she has made the U.S. position clear during conversations with Arab and other allies. The United States has pushed for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where an independent Palestinian state exists alongside Israel.
"We want to leave the door open" to including Hamas, Clinton said.

With that, Mrs. Clinton has very deftly put the ball right in the middle of Hamas' court.


LeDaro said...

Why not show some real guts and say US will not talk to Israel until such time that it recognizes the Palestinian state based on boundaries prior to 1967 war and that Israel must stop atrocities, including murder and mayhem of women and children, against its neighbours.

pogge said...

unless and until Hamas has renounced violenceHas Israel renounced violence?

recognized IsraelHas Israel recognized Hamas?

and agrees to follow the previous obligations of the Palestinian AuthorityIsrael has been failing to live up to its legal obligations as the occupying power for decades. Has that changed?

It's a funny kind of negotiation where the onus to make concessions is all on one side before the other is even expected to come to the table.

Meanwhile Israel will continue to expand the settlements.

pogge said...

Meanwhile "[t]he new Israeli government will not move ahead on the core issues of peace talks with the Palestinians until it sees progress in U.S. efforts to stop Iran's suspected pursuit of a nuclear weapon and limit Tehran's rising influence in the region."

Israel will continue to find reasons not to negotiate.

The Mound of Sound said...

I think the Obama administration has to create the necessary foundation at home. You have to keep in mind where they're starting (the situation they inherited) and where they want to go. There are some preliminary steps if you're to force the hand both of the US Congress and the Knesset.

LeDaro said...

Pogge, Your statement that "Israel will continue to find reasons not to negotiate." is absolutely true. Now what Hamas has to do with the Iran’s nuclear ambitions or end them.

US continues to beat the dead horse while the one who killed it are killing more.

Indeed it is a big challenge for Obama government. Time will tell how his administration deals with these inequities.

The Mound of Sound said...

The White House would be foolish to pressure Israel until Hamas gives them what they need to deal from strength. I think Hamas is actually prepared to do just what Clinton has asked. But the sincerity of both sides would be tested when there was no remaining obstacle to negotiations. I think Hamas could freely agree to the Arab Plan conditions - the usual fare - but I sincerely doubt Israel would agree. So long as Hamas keeps taking Israel off the hook by refusing to recognize its right to exist, Israel can pretty much do what it likes. This should be a no brainer provided the intermediary, Washington, isn't trying to game the Palestinians.