Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Columnist: U.S. Should Negotiate With Hamas

Cohen compares group to the PLO of yore

Print Email
http://www.charlierose.com/view/clip/9990(Charlie Rose)

On the heels of a debate Tuesday night where he argued that the United States should maintain a normal, rather than special, relationship with Israel, columnist Roger Cohen has a provocative piece in tomorrow’s International Herald Tribune essentially recapitulating his central point: that, even as President Obama decries settlements, in effect the United States is supporting the settlement policy that will eventually lead to the end of the Zionist dream, as a two-state solution becomes completely unfeasible.

Maybe most notably, Cohen suggests some form of U.S. engagement with Hamas, in much the same way that it was willing to engage with Yasser Arafat’s Fatah before it had ceased to call for the destruction of Israel. Cohen writes:

Obama needs to work harder on overcoming Palestinian division, a prerequisite for peace, rather than playing the no-credible-interlocutor Israeli game. The Hamas charter is vile. But the breakthrough Oslo accords were negotiated in 1993, three years before the Palestine Liberation Organization revoked the annihilationist clauses in its charter. When Arafat and Rabin shook hands on the White House lawn, that destroy-Israel charter was intact. Things change through negotiation, not otherwise. If there are Taliban elements worth engaging, are there really no such elements in the broad movements that are Hamas and Hezbollah?

It is important to understand the rebuttal to this; it was offered, at the debate, by former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Itamar Rabinovich. He disputed this comparison: Fatah could be reasoned with, he argued, because it was, at bottom, driven by secular nationalism, whereas Hamas may not be reasoned with because it is, at bottom, driven by religious fundamentalism.

Still, the title of the op-ed is “Hard Mideast Truths,” and that one—that the road to peace goes through Hamas—is surely among the hardest.

Hard Mideast Truths [IHT]

Earlier: NYT Columnist, Former Ambassador Stage Debate

Print Email

COMMENTING CHARGES
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at letters@tabletmag.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Columnist: U.S. Should Negotiate With Hamas

Cohen compares group to the PLO of yore

More on Tablet:

‘Buchenwald Boys’ Celebrate 70 Years of Freedom

By Andrew Harris — On the anniversary of the camp’s liberation, a group of Holocaust survivors party in Melbourne