Hamas won't recognize Israel...

Please bear with me and listen before posting comments and sending hate mail.

According to Fox News, Hamas has made this shocking announcement:

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas said Friday he will not head a government that recognizes Israel, striking a potential blow to President Mahmoud Abbas' attempts to create a national unity government.
Fine, fine. It's what Hamas has to do to be Hamas. To retain Hamas-cred.

But further down in the article we find out that:
Haniyeh said Hamas is ready to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem — areas Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast War — and to honor a long-term truce with Israel.
"We support establishing a Palestinian state in the land of 1967 at this stage, but in return for a cease-fire, not recognition," Haniyeh said.
Okay, so what we have here is a largely political rhetorical move. Hamas has retained its credibility and popularity by providing for the Palestinian people and by refusing to play footsie with Israeli governments without a real commitment to the peace process. As well as murdering innocent civilians in cold blood, of course. Which is hardly an afterthought.

But at this point having Hamas express a desire to split the land with Israel, an implicit recognition of Israel (duh), is an incredible first step for everyone in the region. Making recognition a starting point is standing on ceremony; an ending point. Hamas would become the PA and Islamic Jihad would gain Hamas' spot.

People are pissed. Hamas is now something like the middle. Negotiate with this deeply-flawed middle or send the impoverished, angry population into the arms of Islamic Jihad... Israel, do it for yourself.

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