Wednesday, January 25, 2006

You make peace with your enemies

(Above-- Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah casting his vote at a Gaza refugee camp.)

The stars are moving into perfect political alignment to begin real peace talks to finally resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The key to making that happen is to draw Palestinian radical factions into the political process.

Hamas is clearly one of the linchpins to make a deal. Its core constituency is the Palestinian desperately poor and lower middle classes which have gotten next to nothing from the Fatah puppet government Washington, the international community and Israel backed. Fatah turned out to be little more than p.o. box for fat international aid checks which were then distributed to warlords, political hacks, and plugged in comercial interests.

Once in the Palestinian government, Hamas will learn in heartbeat to deliver material improvement to its voters demand it has no choice but to curb terror. 9-11 and subsequent terror attacks around the globe kyboshed an IRA-type arrangement in which Hamas could operate a political and military wing. Unless terror stops the big international dollars, Euros, pesos, rials and yen won't flow. Hamas' constituencies won't tolerate not getting their fair share.

Hamas' position it will negotiate with Israel through a 3rd party is an excellent idea. The path to a solution is a political divorce between Israel and the Palestinians. Like savvy divorcing couples nowadays use mediators, so should they. The best we can hope for is a very cold peace with the parties ultimately separated by a real security fence.

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