"The world is looking at us, and if it sees us beginning to find ways to approve of Hamas, even partially, it will be happy to join in the fun. We have to ensure that the wall of opposition to Hamas stays firm; so far, the countries who are willing to talk with Hamas, such as Russia and Venezuela - and France is also showing some signs of coming towards Hamas - are doing this only in order to flex their muscles against the United States..."
Turkey, as well, hosted Hamas leaders this morning. Foreign Minister Tzippy Livny said she knew of the meeting in advance, and informed her Turkish counterpart that Israel insists that no recognition be shown to Hamas until it abandons its goal of destroying Israel. Turkish officials said they agreed to meet with Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal and other Hamas representatives in order to "inform [them] of what the international community expects from them."
In addition, Jordan announced that it would invite Hamas leaders for a visit next week - the first time they will be allowed into the kingdom since they were banished in 1999.
Prof. Inbar said that Israel is once again repeating a grave mistake that led in the past to catastrophic results:
"It should be known that Israel is already talking with Hamas, on the municipal level, with various mayors from the Hamas organization. The mayors are working for their municipal needs, but in the final analysis, they are building in their cities a strong educational infrastructure for the continued fight against Israel. They are building Moslem schools which teach that shahidim [martyrs] who kill Jews are to be admired and emulated. Mayors, too, play a major role in building the terrrorist infastrucure. It must be made very clear that what we did in the past [in talking with them] is total nonsense and must be stopped."
"We must understand once and for all," Prof. Inbar continued, "that all money that reaches the PA frees up its other resources to help terrorism and the families of terrorists. There is no such thing as pure humanitarian aid. In addition, there is no reason to give humanitarian help to those who chose Hamas as their government; it is appropriate for them to suffer..."
Asked if Israel is not bound by its agreements with the Palestinian Authority, Inbar said, "Of course not. They violated their commitments not to act with violence against Israel, and so I don't see any ethical basis for a claim that we are bound to these agreements."
He warned against engaging in dialogue with Hamas:
"To say that they have to abandon terrorism [is not enough]; this is exactly what we said about the PLO and Fatah 12 years ago, but yet they continued with terrorism throughout... We need not act like an ostrich, but we should rather tell the world exactly where we stand, and tell them the real truth that they might not like to hear - such as, 'There is no solution.' People don't like to hear bad news, but the PA is bad news."
"The world has become accustomed to seeing the Palestinians as a suffering nation," the professor said, "but it forgets that this is situation is of their own choice."