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Wednesday, February 8, 2006
Hamas Willing to Talk to Israel (Sort of)
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 6:40 am

Via the BBC: Hamas ‘ready to talk to Israel’

The political leader of Palestinian militant group Hamas has said the group is willing to take a serious step towards peace if Israel does the same.

Khaled Meshaal told the BBC that Hamas would not renounce violence, saying resisting an occupation was legal.

Not surprising about the statement on violence, Still, this is a positive step. While it is not a direct statement that they not longer seek the destruction of Israel, it is still a tacit recognition of that state. Although, I will grant, establishing new borders does not mean that the ultimate goal of the destruction of Israel wouldn’t remain a goal for Hamas. Still, it would seem that if we could ever get to the point of agreed upon borders and a Palestinian state in place that such conditions might ameleorate Hamas’ need for the destruction of Israel. Of course, we are a long way from that point.

If both parties are actually willing to negotiate in good faith (unlike, say, Arafat), then there are possibilities here. The Israelis are not willing to go all the way back to the 1967 borders, it is clear, if one looks at the security fence, that they are already willing to go quite a ways in that direction.

The acting Israeli PM said the following on the border question:

Ehud Olmert said Israel would be prepared to give up parts of the West Bank where most Palestinians were living.

Of course, the hitch is that Hamas wants Israel to withdraw to those borders first before talks can begin, That, of course, isn’t going to happen.

Still, this does represent a potential for movement on the issue, insofar as an interchange has started, even if it is one being conducted through the press.

Jerusalem will, of course, be a, if not the major point of contention.

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