On Eve of Elections, Israeli Leaders Play Into Hands of Palestinian Militants
Continued from previous page
Which raises the possibility that internal Israeli politics may not tell the whole story. Livni has made no secret about why she opposes the Hamas truce offer: "An arrangement with Hamas will give it legitimacy” in the world’s eyes, she says. She would rather see a policy that “will at the end of the day bring about an end to the Hamas regime.” At a recent campaign rally, Livni voiced the deeper concern that lies beneath her fear of Hamas: “Peace is in our self-interest. The prevention of a binational state is in our self-interest.”
Labor’s support for the A1 development shows that, as it extends one hand in peace to the Palestinians, it too would use the other hand to block the path to peace. As for Netanyahu and Likud, they are campaigning on a pledge to destroy Hamas and resist the U.S. goal -- much of the world’s goal -- of a viable independent Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel.
Whatever the Israeli leaders’ motives, the signal they send to moderate Hamas leaders is to think twice, or even three times, before taking any risks for peace. With so much to lose as they struggle against their own hard-liners, Hamas moderates may easily feel that they have little to gain.