Thursday, August 17, 2006

Is Hamas Ready to Deal?

This is a thoughtful and constructive piece that shines a light on a path toward an understanding in the Israel-Palestine conflict. As OPED pieces go, this one is exceptional and it deserves to be widely read.

Is Hamas Ready to Deal? - New York Times: "Tangible results, like prisoner exchanges, are important. However, so are symbolic actions. Hamas officials have stressed the importance of Israel’s recognizing their suffering from the original loss of Palestinian land. And survey research of Palestinian refugees and Hamas by my colleagues and I, supported by the National Science Foundation, reliably finds that violent opposition to peace decreases if the adversary is seen to compromise its own moral position, even if the compromise has no material value.

“Israel freeing some of our prisoners will help us to stop others from attacking it,” said the Hamas government spokesman, Ghazi Hamad. “But Israel must apologize for our tragedy in 1948 before we can talk about negotiating over our right of return to historic Palestine.”

As the Pew survey made clear, the Israel-Palestinian issue has become the principal fault line in world conflict. There would be some sad satisfaction if the bloodshed in Gaza and at the Lebanon border served as a starting point for bringing the larger conflict to an end."

No comments: