CNN has the solution for the Middle Eastern turmoil that has flared anew over the last month or so between the terrorists of Hamas and Israel: Israel should drop that whole “they are terrorists” thing and recognize Hamas as a legitimate government player and negotiate directly with them.
For CNN, Ed Husain says that calling Hamas terrorists is a “nonstarter” in Palestine and other Arab communities. Even residents of “non-Arab Pakistan,” Husain says, “refuse to label Hamas as a ‘terrorist’ organization.”
Husain claims that because the radical Islamists surrounding the State of Israel support terrorism, then everyone else should understand this and simply accept it. Of course, the fallacy here is that accepting something doesn’t make it right.
Regardless, Husain’s solution is to treat Hamas as a legitimate entity and stop trying to insist they change their genocidal aims.
To demand that Hamas abandon violence, change its charter or recognize Israel is not the beginning, but should be the end results of a peace process that builds trust over a period of time. To impose these as preconditions and thereby exclude Hamas, while also neglecting the Fatah government in the West Bank, is to give a clear message to Arabs that no strategy (that of Fatah or Hamas) is to Israel’s liking. Such perceived arrogance further alienates populations in important countries such as Turkey and Egypt, not to mention the Palestinians.
Husain thinks that Israel should negotiate directly with people whose stated goal is to kill them all. He doesn’t seem to recognize that Israel’s enemies have been the ones to initiate the violence — in this instance Hamas with its renewed campaign of rocketing the Israelis. Instead, Husain thinks it’s all Israel’s fault. He feels they should drop their “war” policies.
Israel can help itself, its neighbors and the United States by at least ending its old tactics of war and embracing the Arab peace plan offered since 2002 by Saudi Arabia and endorsed by the Arab League. It is time for Israel to act like the democracy it claims to be and end the siege of Gaza and the occupation of the West Bank.
This is all quite typical of the anti-Israel attitude of the Old Media establishment, certainly. The Jews are always wrong no matter what they do in this view of Middle East policy prescriptions.
Husain’s prescription is appeasement. But history also shows that appeasement does not work.