This is a catch-up post on events that occurred some weeks ago. Larry Cohler-Esses, an editor at The Forward, recorded his remarkably frank interview with a leader of Hamas, whom he met in Egypt.
A Forward editorial noted that this meeting with Mousa Abu Marzook “highlights the disappointing, indeed infuriating, fact that Hamas continues to be unwilling to forswear violence and accept the Jewish state of Israel as a reality. It is a message of opportunity lost, for all concerned.” One may find a tiny bit of wiggle room in the views he expressed, but there was still no promise to honor any peace treaty with Israel, nor was there even an inkling of realization in this Hamas official that the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” an antisemitic forgery depicting a Jewish plot to dominate the world, is a phony document.
Around the same time in April, Daniel Levy–a think-tank analyst associated with J Street and the Geneva Accord–debated the curmudgeonly Israeli historian, Benny Morris, at the Daily Beast (“Open Zion”) website. Hamas is central to their disagreement. The following summaries are from J Street’s daily email News Roundup:
Daniel Levy responds to a Benny Morris column in Open Zion, writing, “Rather
than rejecting Israel, the PLO has adhered to the two-state, ‘67 principle ever since. And the Hamas leadership has increasingly moved in this direction, sometimes in more explicit tones. Similarly, when serious negotiations have taken place, Palestinian leaders have not stood on the right to implement a return of refugees to sovereign Israel. They have not swept their history under the carpet, nor denied that refugees have any rights. Yet they have understood that a two-state outcome would entail a compromise on this issue.”
Morris responds to Levy’s piece: “Even if Abbas were to sign an agreement with
Israel, it would never stick, from the Palestinian side. It would be rapidly undermined and overthrown by the Hamas and the other more open—and, let it be said, honest—rejectionists… The Hamas leadership has consistently said, over and over again, that it will never recognize Israel or make peace with Israel, and, in Arabic, before Arab audiences, has clearly proclaimed its policy of seeking Israel’s destruction.”