March 03, 2006

Hamas Choosing Isolation

President Bush laid out two conditions for normalization of Hamas with the US. Stop maintaining separate military/paramilitary units and recognize Israel's right to exist. Israel's right to exist was established as part of the League of Nations Mandate system which carried through to the UN. According to several articles, Hamas has rejected the latter. This is going to isolate the regime. It's a regrettable outcome, but it was always the most likely one. That doesn't mean that jumping to the most likely outcome would have been the right thing. Russia was right to meet with Hamas in order to clarify which way they are going, though it will do them no favors for their own reputation. I suspect the Quartet drew straws on who was going to have the honors.

Now the palestinian people, and just as importantly the palestinian elite, have to be taught that democratic choice is not just an isolated event but it's a repeated process that has consequences. With Hamas choosing isolation and nonrecognition of Israel, the process will unfortunately be painful.

Posted by TMLutas at March 3, 2006 10:31 AM