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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mossad having coffee with Hamas?

Palestine Press Agency is rabidly anti-Hamas, but most of their Gaza-based Hamas stories end up panning out as being true.

Sometimes, though, one needs to be especially skeptical.

A case in point is this story, where the Mossad is said to have requested a meeting over coffee with Hamas representatives in Jenin. The meeting turned into a few meetings, some lasting several hours, and were very friendly and productive. According to these unnamed sources, the Mossad asked Hamas to maintain their cease-fire with Israel in the West Bank and in return the Israelis would allow Hamas to continue to run their social and political groups in the West Bank.

Palestine Today, as I mentioned, often criticizes Hamas. Yet these criticisms are hardly always from a moderate perspective - often if not usually, they castigate Hamas for not being anti-Israeli enough, and for "collaborating." As PPA is pro-Fatah, and the Fatah-dominated PA does indeed have contacts with Israeli authorities, it is always interesting to see how PPA tries to discredit Hamas for doing what its side does all the time.

The upshot, of course, is that the idea of working with Israel remains as distasteful as ever to the "moderates" as much as it is to the "extremists." The way to discredit anyone in the Arab world is to imply that they are in bed with the hated Zionists. The so-called "moderates" are the ones who have a combination of pragmatism and a willingness to temporarily play ball in order to gain vast amounts of Western money.

But no one should confuse this relative pragmatism with any real desire for lasting peace. That simply does not exist.