Sometimes organizations do what you expect them too. CAIR, for example, has no issue with Jimmy Carter shaking the blood soaked hands of Khaled Meshal.Sometimes the organization that does the advocating is surprising. For example two leaders of the Israeli Policy Forum are advocating outreach to Hamas. Why is this surprising? Well the IPF writes on it website that one of its goals is:
IPF sponsors exceptional educational programs and publications, which produce a unique cadre of effective advocates for a two state solution. (emphasis mine)
So now Geoffry Lewis and Seymour Reich write that we should be Finding a way to bring Hamas In. That’s Hamas the organization dedicated in word and deed to a one state solution – one without Israel.
Lewis and Reich write:
IT’S BECOMING increasingly clearer that reaching an Israeli-Palestinian agreement requires finding a way to bring Hamas into the process. This must be done without compromising Israeli or American interests.Many respected Israeli security officials, including two former heads of Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, arrived at that conclusion some time ago. So have 64 percent of Israelis, who said, according to a Haaretz-Dialog poll taken in February, that they would negotiate directly with Hamas to end the rocket attacks from Gaza, controlled by Hamas since June 2007, and to secure the release of the captive Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.
As noted before the Israeli poll approving talks with Hamas only gave respondents one choice. A different poll giving Israelis the choice between talking and fighting, showed that Israelis much preferred fighting their enemies than coddling them.
Lewis and Reich praise Sec. Rice for her decision to engage Hamas indirectly.
Rice appears to recognize these realities. During her previous visit to the Middle East early last month she used Egypt as an intermediary to open a channel between Israel and Hamas to mediate a cease-fire. This is a significant and commendable development. It could facilitate reaching an Israeli-Palestinian agreement by the end of the year, the goal of the Bush administration, or during the next administration.
And since then what? Well Hamas manufactured a fuel crisis, using as cover for an attack on the Nahal Oz fuel depot. So would you say that bringing Hamas in has been helpful, or has it emboldened them?
Back at the beginning of the peace process, advocates like Lewis and Reich claimed that it was necessary to talk to Arafat and Fatah and to isolate Hamas. In the past 15 years, Fatah has shown itself to be uninterested in peace (or more precisely: uninterested in any commitments to helping peace but plenty interested in receiving the land, guns and money in exchange for those phantom commitments) and Hamas has gotten even stronger.
Now after Fatah has proved itself uninterested in making peace, Hamas is left with power, so Lewis and Reich propose that Israel now talk to Hamas. Have they been paying attention to the past 15 years? Why would talking with Hamas work any better now than talking with Fatah did in 1993?
Crossposted on Soccer Dad.