LA Times editorializes in favor of patience with Hamas:
This is a critical moment. Hamas may govern a short or a long time, but it will never again assume office for the first time. Setting a tone of constructive engagement as it begins to address an array of tough issues offers the best hope. Hamas’ moderate choice for prime minister, Ismail Haniya, has taken conciliatory steps as he tries to put together a coalition of radical and moderate factions, and he deserves encouragement in this perilous task.
You can see just how “moderate” Hamas’s choice for prime minister is by clicking here.
And how on earth can they say Haniyeh is taking “conciliatory steps”? In a Washington Post interview Sunday, Haniyeh suggested he would support the recognition of Israel under certain conditions. But he later denied making any such remarks, stating, “I did not say anything about recognizing Israel.”
Today’s LA Times editorial continues:
Given Hamas’ history of violence, however, it will need to do more than appoint a few moderates to its new government.
Again, the LA Times editors are taking it as a given that Hamas has appointed moderates, even though they provide abosolutely zero evidence to back it up.
So far, Hamas has resisted changing its charter, which calls for the destruction of the Jewish state, but it has signaled its willingness for a long-term truce with Israel. That’s not enough, but it’s a first step.
Haniyeh said he wanted a “political” truce, not a peace agreement:
Haniyeh has demanded that Israel make a full withdrawal from lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war, release Palestinian prisoners and the return of several million Palestinian refugees and their descendants to Israel.
“Then Hamas can grant a long-term truce,” Haniyeh said.
So in other words, if Palestinians are allowed to takeover Israel, then he may consider a political truce.
From the LA Times:
Israel’s decision to withhold a scheduled monthly transfer of $50 million in taxes owed to the Palestinian Authority – nearly half of its monthly operating budget – is a step in the wrong direction. Customs duties and other taxes that rightfully belong to the Palestinian Authority must be transferred in an orderly way.
The United States has a policy of freezing the assets of terrorist groups, including Hamas. How is what Israel doing any different? Why is Israel held to a different standard?
If Hamas is given a chance to govern without interference, it will have to provide Palestinians with the clean, efficient government they thought they were voting for. In contrast, if Israel or the international community acts in a hostile manner, Hamas can blame them when things go badly. For the moment, Hamas has every incentive to avoid attacks on Israel, which would only provoke swift and unrestrained retaliation, derailing Hamas’ chances to consolidate its popularity and establish a domestic policy.
Is there any doubt that Hamas will blame Israel no matter what? All they have to do is increase terrorism against Israel to provoke an Israeli response and portray Israel as the aggressor. That’s the way to win friends and influence Europeans. It worked for Arafat for decades. Besides, if it chooses, Hamas can be completely corrupt, and it can cancel any future elections.
Much can still go wrong, and in the Middle East, it often does. But for now, there is a chance that restraint can keep the hope of peace alive.
When I predicted that a Hamas leader would win the Nobel Peace Prize, I thought that Hamas would at least have to put up some facade that it was willing to change its ways. But apparently, it didn’t even take that. Hamas’s leaders haven’t even abandoned their goal of seeking to destroy Israel, and already their leaders are being called moderates. Already, Israel is being urged to show patience and restraint.
Although Hitler made his intentions well known in Mein Kampf, in the 1930s the world operated under the mistaken assumption that he didn’t really mean what he said. This mistake had tragic consequences. Hamas wants to finish off Hilter’s job, and the LA Times editors, along with the international community, are already acting as their enablers. Luckily, things are different this time, and the LA Times editorial board isn’t running the Israeli government.