Op-Ed: No to Negotiating With Hamas
Israel has made one terrible mistake during Operation Protective Edge by negotiating with Hamas. The discussion of a “cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians” means that Israel has de facto negotiated with Hamas. Publicly Israel won't recognize it, but who exactly did Prime Minister Netanyahu accept a cease-fire proposal from? Is it not Hamas?
While Netanyahu claims not to recognize Hamas, what is one to make of government spokesman Mark Regev saying “When the diplomatic door was closed shut by Hamas we had no option but to act military against those missiles and those tunnels.”
President Obama lost his international moxy when he made idle threats – and Netanyahu is oddly following down this path.
When Regev states in the International media that, “You know, victory for us is actually peace and quiet. Victory for us is the Israeli civilian population not having to live in fear of an incoming terrorist rocket from Gaza. Victory for us is just having a normal life,” it’s asking Hamas for quiet. Rather unusual public dialogue to take against an organization devoted to destroying the entire country, no?
President Obama lost his international moxy when he made idle threats – and Netanyahu is oddly following down this path. He has quasi-recognized Hamas, and quasi-allows them to exist. Not exactly the path I imagine many Netanyahu voters envisioned.
Whether Israel does, or does not desire to take down Hamas, this perception that Israel recognizes Hamas is a terrible impreteur for a so-called “right-wing” Netanyahu government. For Israeli government spokespersons to continually say they don’t want to take down Hamas is rather odd. A boxer entering the ring does not win a psychological war by saying he does not wish to harm his enemy – who has vowed to murder him.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has allowed the State of Israel to be attacked repeatedly – and as Avigdor Lieberman said in a recent cabinet meeting “You promised to deal a harsh blow on Hamas but nothing came of it and they continue to shoot at citizens.”
These messages that “quiet will be met with quiet” and back-door negotiations are not only dangerous for Israel today, they are very dangerous for Israel tomorrow.
Now that Netanyahu has opened the door for quasi-negotiations, how far will it be until someone else does so in a little more public manner? A shameful path to have begun….