Thursday, June 26, 2003

Hamas seeks "recognition"

Stratfor, June 25

Volte-Face for Hamas?

The Jerusalem Post reported June 25 that Hamas has indicated a willingness to accept Israel's right to exist. However, Hamas sources speaking to Stratfor have categorically denied any such statement, while also rejecting the notion that Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad has struck a cease-fire deal with Israel. These contradictory statements either could be a case of erroneous reporting or indicate cracks within Hamas, where core officials may be making deals without clear communication with the group's periphery. Hamas could be floating a balloon in attempts to ease pressure over the U.S. proposed peace plan. If there is any truth to the report of recognition for Israel, however, it would represent a major shift in Hamas' ideology and politics.

Well, the Israelis couldn't have it better. They've gotten rid of Arafat, the new "Palestinian government" is a lame-duck puppet regime, and now we have Hamas, like a clumsy, ham-fisted oaf, trying to play smartypants and fill the power vacuum. And as I said before, Hamas can always be relied upon to blow something up and ruin any agreement. Just what the Likudniks want.