Thursday, August 17, 2006

Out of His Mind?

Scott Atran is a research scientist at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris, the University of Michigan and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. And he has an op-ed in today's NYTimes entitled Is Hamas Ready to Deal?

He starts off great and writes what was obvious to a few people, your obedient servant among them, that:-

WHATEVER the endgame between Israel, Hezbollah and Hamas, one thing is certain: Israel’s hopes of ensuring its security by walling itself off from resentful neighbors are dead. One lesson from Israel’s assault on Lebanon and its military operation in Gaza is that the missiles blow back.

But then he tackles the Pal. issue, claiming its been 'on the back burner by the war in Lebanon', although daily Israel has being returning fire as the Kassams keep coming in and Hamas keeps producing munitions and ballistics.

A bold gesture now by Israel would surprise its adversaries, convey strength, and even catch domestic political opposition off guard. And as strange as it may seem, were the United States able to help Israel help Hamas, it might turn the rising tide of global Muslim resentment. Recent discussions I’ve had with Hamas leaders and their supporters around the globe indicate that Israel might just find a reasonable and influential bargaining partner.

Is this for real?

He also claims that

the Israeli offensive also had a larger strategic goal: to destroy whatever potential the Hamas government had to prevent Israel from unilaterally redrawing its boundaries to include some West Bank settlements. Doing so was something that Israel had intended as soon as it could convince the United States that with Hamas having defeated Fatah at the polls, there was no legitimate Palestinian partner to negotiate with.

Is Olmert aware of this?

He even believes Hasan Yusuf, a Hamas official held in Israel’s Ketziot prison, who

doesn’t think President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran’s declaration that the main solution to the Middle East crisis is for the elimination of the “Zionist regime” is practical or wise. “The outcome in Lebanon doesn’t change our view,” Mr. Yusuf informed me last weekend. “We believe in two states living side by side.”

He also said that “all Hamas factions have agreed to a unilateral cease-fire, including halting Qassam rockets; the movement is ready to go farther if it receives any encouraging responses from Israel and the West.”

He was told

Hamas officials have stressed the importance of Israel’s recognizing their suffering from the original loss of Palestinian land.

And adds

survey research of Palestinian refugees and Hamas by my colleagues and I, supported by the National Science Foundation, reliably finds that violent opposition to peace decreases if the adversary is seen to compromise its own moral position, even if the compromise has no material value. Hamas government spokesman, Ghazi Hamad {said,] “But Israel must apologize for our tragedy in 1948 before we can talk about negotiating over our right of return to historic Palestine.”

This is believable? rational thinking? cogent?


No comments: