For years the suggestion that one should talk to the PLO terrorists would earn you a trip to the political dustbin in America. But Yassir Arafat went to the General Assembly with pistol on his waist. The PLO was transformed and began to govern - though largely through the aid of the E.U. and the U.S.. Now the Palestinian Authority is respectable, if weak. But Hamas? We don't negotiate with terrorists. But they won election in Gaza, and now find themselves entreating the PA, and Israel to let them govern. So now we do negotiate with terrorists, and will do more. So perhaps there is still a narrow window for the two state solution, argues J.J. Goldberg. - gwc
So You Really Think Liberal Zionism Is Dead? – Forward.com:
by J.J. Goldberg
The way most pundits tell it, the seven-week [Gaza] conflict ended roughly in a draw. Hamas failed to win its non-negotiable demands for a seaport and prisoner release. Israel failed to achieve its essential goal of disarming Hamas. Instead, they dragged themselves to the cease-fire negotiating table like a pair of punch-drunk boxers who’ve beaten each other bloody and are desperate for someone to call it off.
But that analysis, while factually correct, overlooks the most dramatic development: Israel and Hamas are talking to each other. Israel, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, has signed an open-ended agreement with a Palestinian coalition that he’d vowed never to do business with, headed by Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority but including Hamas and Islamic Jihad as constituent parties. Bibi’s also agreed, according to reports from the Egyptian capital, to continue negotiating in Cairo starting next month.
As for Hamas, it has accepted, at least for now, its new role as a junior partner in a Palestinian government that recognizes Israel. It’s agreed to suspend attacks on Israel indefinitely. Abbas’s troops will take control of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, and by some reports the Gaza side of the crossings into Israel as well. Numerous reports out of Cairo say this is intended as a first step toward reestablishing Abbas’s authority in Gaza, though it’s not clear whether Hamas sees it that way.
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