Newsweek: ‘Everyone needs’ Hamas at the table

A really significant article by Babak Dehghanpisheh in this week’s Newsweek: The headline is: “A place for Mr. Meshaal: No one wants the leader of Hamas at the Mideast peace table. But everyone needs him there.”
Of course, it is not true that “No one wants him” there… But we can let that go.
Dehghanpisheh interviewed Meshaal for two hours for the article. He writes,

    Meshaal sounds more moderate these days than he once did. Although he still calls for bigger concessions than Israel is likely to grant, they’re at least within the realm of rational discussion.

Wow. There on the news pages in the heart of the U.S. MSM! (As opposed to, for example, the many pieces making this same argument that I and others have written in the op-ed pages of a few, relatively open publications like the Christian Science Monitor.)
Too bad Newsweek is kind of going down the tubes financially right now. I’d love to know the inside-the-mag politics behind Dehghanipisheh getting the piece published…
He does seem to attribute Hamas’s shift toward moderation almost wholly to the economic mess he claims that Hamas rule has led to in Gaza– though he gives no evidence of having actually been there. (Ahmed Yousef, a Hamas spokesman there can be interviewed over the phone from anywhere in the world.) People who have been in Gaza note firstly that the intense economic malaise there is due above all to the tight siege Israel maintains around it, and secondly that, given the conditions of the siege, the Strip is actually remarkably well organized.
Oh well, it is still, I think, a sign of changing attitudes towards Israel in many portions of the U.S. political elite that this piece even got published.

8 thoughts on “Newsweek: ‘Everyone needs’ Hamas at the table”

  1. ““Even to suggest an opening to Hamas would blow every fuse in the Israeli
    political establishment,”……. “The blowback here would be
    extreme,”……”Abbas is under heavy pressure from U.S. and Israeli officials to
    keep Hamas isolated. ”

    it really is amazing this has hit newsweek. they are not mincing words.

  2. Let’s not forget that Israel once took the same position regarding the PLO and Fatah and the two state solution.

  3. Of course they are needed, what good is a peace made with only half of the other side while the other side goes on with their violent pursuit?
    The onus to bring them to the table should be on the Palestinian side, maybe do a broader election covering West Bank and Gaza. Somehow I suspect hairs will grow on my eyeballs before that happens.

  4. I know this is really boring and you are skipping to the next comment, but I just wanted to throw you a big thanks – you cleared up some things for me!

  5. What I find interesting is Dehghanipisheh’s assumption that ‘what Israel is ‘likely to grant’ is the determining factor. But this isn’t about what Israel granting anything. This is about Israel getting the hell out of other people’s land, not continuing to kill people and kidnap people and otherwise commit crimes against humanity.

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