Columnist Charles Krauthammer offers some perspective on Hamas’ offer of a truce with Israel, as encapsulated in a New York Times interview and story on Monday. Krauthammer writes in the Washington Post:
"Apart from the time restriction (a truce that lapses after 10 years) and the refusal to accept Israel’s existence, Mr. Meshal’s terms approximate the Arab League peace plan . . ."
— Hamas peace plan, as explained by the New York Times
"Apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?"
— Tom Lehrer, satirist
The Times conducted a five-hour interview with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal at his Damascus headquarters. Mirabile dictu, they’re offering a peace plan with a two-state solution. Except. The offer is not a peace but a truce that expires after 10 years. Meaning that after Israel has fatally weakened itself by settling millions of hostile Arab refugees in its midst, and after a decade of Hamas arming itself within a Palestinian state that narrows Israel to eight miles wide — Hamas restarts the war against a country it remains pledged to eradicate.
There is a phrase for such a peace: the peace of the grave.
Westerners may be stupid, but Hamas is not. It sees the new American administration making overtures to Iran and Syria. It sees Europe, led by Britain, beginning to accept Hezbollah. It sees itself as next in line. And it knows what to do. Yasser Arafat wrote the playbook.