Power And Dollar

Why is Hamas ready for peace?

Carter says Hamas is ready.  Why is Hamas “ready for peace” all of a sudden?  What does it mean to us?  Carter’s full transcript is here:




Middle East is a difficult place to negotiate peace.  It is even more difficult between Israel and the rest of the Middle East.  Israel, due to historical baggage or lack of military depth, does not deal with anyone who does not recognize its existence. 


Hamas understands they do not much chips to bargain with since Palestine is small, no resources to fight.  The best they can do is to use their quantity and determination to maximize the damage in order to draw a negotiation.  Their pledge to destroy Israel could be a real commitment among the religious zealots but cannot be taken seriously among the politicians in Hamas. 


The question for Hamas should always have been timing: Are we ready to negotiate?  They could have been ready for a while and we just do not hear much about it.  These are the reasons they could be ready: they are confident they will be able to direct the debate in the next referendum, should a truce be produced with Israel and Abbas; Egypt is pushing toward an end game; they have completely digested their political gain from 2006 and military seizure of Gaza.


If peace deal is produced, Hamas would want to defeat it if it is not to the Hamas’ liking.  Given that they are a grass root movement and they had a good election infrastructure proven by 2006 election victory, they should be able to feel that they are the ones who will have the veto power of the next peace process product: a truce. 


Ever since Israel no longer manages the Gaza border with Egypt, this border became open and thus the border management became the responsibility of Egypt.  And it would be difficult for Egypt to say no for people moving in and out of Gaza.  So, this border management issue became a refugee management issue literally.  For Israel, since peace means co-existence, two-state is inevitable.  So, why border with it? Let it be someone’s problem.  And if it became Egypt’s problem, Israel can make the argument that Egypt is failing in the war against terrorism.  Now Egypt may have a greater incentive than before to push for a quicker resolution. 


Hamas would not want to get eat more than they can chew.  They were the underdog; they had to win over Fatah in order to face Israel.  Then they won the election without “representation” internationally.  Now they have a complete control of some territory, they now do not only have some vague concept of militia before the international media, but the military force in Gaza, electoral majority from 2006 election, they can be ready. 


Hamas have a few good chips on their hands: 1) any deal needs democratic affirmation and they had the majority, so their opinion counts; 2) they out gunned everyone in the last battle (Gaza), they are here to stay and no one can get rid of them; 3) the pledge of “destruction of Israel” is on the table for negotiation. 


For Israel, they know they will always be outnumbered.  Even within Israel the Arab population is the fastest growing population.  Peace cannot come from military might, for it requires an extinction of the enemy.  When Hamas did not have any kind of mandate, Israel could afford not to negotiate to Hamas.  After 2006, it would be a difficult proposition.  Both sides needed a proper stage to facilitate en entry. 


Carter may want to project this issue in the election.  If Bush really wants to accomplish something like he said he was going to try, he could use this opportunity.  Israel would want to wait and see who the next president is to formulate their next course of action.  2008 is unlikely to be the year for this kind of breakthrough. 


The most important thing is Hamas will recognize a referendum.  Hamas refusal to recognizing Israel will be dropped if the populace takes peace and precedence.  Hamas cannot recognize Israel without a price.



April 21, 2008 - Posted by | Current Events, Democrats, Election 2008, middle east, Money, opinion, politics, Republican, Thoughts, wordpress-political-blogs

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