Inaccuracy: Hamas must be part of any Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Israel’s refusal to deal with Hamas doesn’t make sense. After all, Israel eventually negotiated with the Palestinian Liberation Organization after decades of enduring its terrorist attacks against Israelis and Jews.
Response: Hamas is committed to the elimination ofIsrael’s existence by whatever means necessary. This commitment is articulated in the Hamas Charter, and is regularly reiterated by its leadership. The Hamas Charter is rife with incendiary anti-Semitism. Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with an entity that espouses hatred of Jews, seeks its destruction and uses terrorism and rocket attacks to further that goal.
Israel and the international community have been clear, Hamas must recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce the use of violence and terrorism, and accept previously negotiated Israeli-Palestinian agreements. Until it meets these requirements, neither Israel nor the international community will engage with Hamas.
Israel does have relations with the Palestinian Authority and its leaders who were former PLO officials. However, this only came about once the PLO met similar requirements by recognizing Israel’s right to exist, renouncing terrorism, and pledging to remove clauses in the Palestine National Charter that called for the destruction of the State of Israel. The PLO/Palestinian Authority andIsrael’s other Arab peace partners – including Egypt and Jordan – have done what Hamas adamantly refuses to do: accept the reality of Israel’s existence and reject efforts to eradicate Israel.
Hamas is well aware of the steps it must take if it is interested in negotiating withIsrael.