Monday, February 27, 2006

Thoughts On Hamas

Henry Kissinger writes about the hopes for peace with Hamas at the helm of the Palestinian Authority:
Does this mean the end of all diplomacy? Whatever happens, whoever governs Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the parties will be impelled by their closeness to one another to interact on a range of issues including crossing points, work permits and water usage. These de facto relationships might be shaped into some agreed international framework, in the process testing Hamas's claims of a willingness to discuss a truce. A possible outcome of such an effort could be an interim agreement of indefinite duration. Both sides would suspend some of their most intractable claims on permanent borders, on refugees and perhaps on the final status of the Arab part of Jerusalem. Israel would withdraw to lines based on the various formulas evolved since Camp David and endorsed by American presidents. It would dismantle settlements beyond the established dividing line. The Hamas-controlled government would be obliged to renounce violence. It would also need to agree to adhere to agreements previously reached by the PLO. A security system limiting military forces on the soil of the emerging Palestinian state would be established. State-sponsored propaganda to undermine the adversary would cease.
Kissinger is hoping on this outcome, which he says requires the efforts of the quartet nations and the moderate Arab world. I am skeptical. While politicians may be ideologues, they (like Sharon) often reach a point where they realize that pragmatism must trump ideology in order to achieve the best possible end. Is this possible of theocrats like the leaders of Hamas?