Hamas moderating?

(See here) a New York Times article that reports Hamas might be moderating their position a little bit. (See here) a Haaretz article and (here) a Jerusalem Post article that reports the same.

I am encouraged that Hamas seems to be moderating slightly. However I look at their actions as attempts to "divide and conquer" the international communities' position that is pretty much aligned against them. In my opinion, any efforts to reach a "compromise" with Hamas results in backsliding from what little previous progress has been made to bring the conflict to a conclusion. Hamas wants to wipe the board clean and start all over. There should be no compromise on the international communities' pressure for Hamas to renounce violence and recognize Israel. Any compromise on this requirement is a step backward in the peace process, and I am reluctant to sacrifice hard won gains.

Quoting from the Jerusalem Post article, Palestinian Foreign Minister Zahar (Hamas) stated:
...the new Hamas-led PA would be prepared to discuss a two state solution of a
Palestinian state alongside Israel. He demanded to know however, what Israel
and the international community would offer in return.

Let's see, Hamas is demanding that before Hamas agrees to engage in negotiations, Israel and the international community must tell Hamas what the results of the negotiations will be. Doesn't this kind of defeat the purpose of holding negotiations in the first place? If the results are predetermined, then why hold the negotiations?

How about this Mr Zahar? About the best you can hope for is something along the lines of the Geneva Accords. If Hamas agrees to negotiations, Hamas can even influence what the final results will look like. However the Israeli government seems determined to disengage with or without negotiations. I do not feel that Israel alone should be allowed to dictate what final borders and final conditions will be. However I think there are a few options for coming up with something that is fair and just even absent Palestinian participation.

I also have a real problem with what Hamas seems to think a final peace agreement will mean. Hamas seems to think acceptance of a two state solution means a "hudna" that will only last for a period of time. They think that they should not have to give up on their dream of one day "liberating" all of what they consider to be Palestine. Quoting again from the Jerusalem Post:

In an interview with the Chinese news agency Xinhua, he (Zahar) said that he dreamed of hanging a huge map of the world on the wall at his Gaza home that did not show Israel on it.

My opinion is that while there does seem to be some evidence the Hamas position is softening, Hamas has not journeyed far enough down the path to moderation. The requirements for Hamas to be a player in the peace process is for Hamas to renounce violence, recognize Israel and accept previous peace agreements.


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