Roger L. Simon

Learning from the Iranians

The Mullahs have long been the masters of misdirection and now it seems their Hamas clients are learning the fine art of two-facedness:

A senior Hamas official said Friday the group is ready to accept a “two-state” solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but the Hamas prime minister said he is unaware of plans by the Islamic militants to change their hard-line government platform.

The senior Hamas official said the two-state idea was to be raised by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in a meeting Friday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a moderate who advocates negotiations with
Israel.

The meeting was preceded by a series of contradictory statements from Hamas officials about whether a new government would recognize Israel in some fashion.

A “two-state” solution would appear to be a softening of Hamas’ position and imply recognition of the Jewish state.

Haniyeh later told reporters that he would discuss a wide range of issues with Abbas, but that “there is nothing new about political positions” outlined in the Hamas government platform.

In its own weird way this can be seen as progress because, for whatever reasons (financial?),Hamas is beginning to feel constrained to talk this way. Of course it’s hard to believe they will walk any of the walk to go along with this talk. But at some point, they may have no choice.

UPDATE: The State Dept. has just released the dollar amounts for US aid to the new Hamas-led Palestinian Authority. Vital Perspectives has the numbers. Another way to look at this, howeve, is that lack of aid is the best thing that ever happened to the Palestinians. The correlations that some have made between countries with high foreigh aid and high economic failure in Africa are certainly worth noting.