Moderation of Hamas; past, present, and future - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Tosefta
    • 12.06.07 | 16:00 (IDT)

    Hamas started its independent existence by moderating. It grew out of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, an organization calling for universal Jihad which also gave rise to Ayman al-Zawahiri of al-Qaida. But instead of going the global way, Hamas decided to deal with its national problem. It wants to Islamicize the Palestinians and regain what it considers their national home. Israel may not like it, but this is still relative moderation. Once Hamas gained power (and responsibility) in the recent elections, and was put under international financial pressure, it moderated further. While in 1996 Hamas could blow up buses prior to the Israeli elections, thus bringing about the loss of Peres to Netanyahu and the undermining of the peace process, today Hamas is willing to let Abbas negotiate with Israel about the establishment of a Palestinian state and resolving the refugee problem. This is moderation in action. Hamas is not yet ready to recognize and have peace with Israel, but it has gone a long way. This is not the end of the road, though. Suppose Abbas and Israel produce a peace agreement which is approved by a national referendum. What will Hamas do, just live under a promised hudna, say for 10 years? Unlikely. With peace conditions, there will be less public appetite for war. Also, with the resolution of the refugee problem, there will be many fewer troops for Hamas. If they continue with their warlike attitude they will lose much of their political power. I imagine they will do what Begin did, the man who kept dreaming about the EAST Bank of the Jordan river. They will exercise further moderation and become a political party of Likud-like ideology. And in time, they will have their own ex-Hamas Kadimah party which will shed off the ideology completely. Our Father Darwin still lives.

    from the article: In the name of Islam?
    First published 00:00 12.06.07 | Last updated 00:00 12.06.07
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