The key to success in theÂ newly announced peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, is removing Hamas from power, a realistic aspiration now that its main benefactor, the Muslim Brotherhood, has fallen from power in Egypt, prominent American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg wrote, in a recent Bloomberg column.
“Both the Palestinian Authority and Israel see Hamas as a bitter enemy; both sides understand that Hamas is an impediment to peace talks. The end of Hamas’s rule – the Gaza Strip constituting about half of what would be a future Palestinian state – could set the stage for actual, fruitful negotiations,” Goldberg writes.
Goldberg cites an article written by Hussein Ibish of the American Task Force, in which he explains that Hamas is now more divided, hapless and isolated than ever before:”The new Egyptian government, and much of the public, take a decidedly dim view of Hamas,” Ibish wrote.
“They see it as conniving in the low-level, but extremely dangerous, insurgency in Sinai that greatly intensified after Morsi’s overthrow. Hamas, and the Palestinians living under its misrule, have paid a heavy price for the Egyptian military counteroffensive against Sinai extremists. Egyptian forces reportedly killed 35 Hamas fighters and destroyed 850 smuggling tunnels. Fuel and other shortages, and a financial crisis, have consequently intensified in Gaza.”
Goldberg also notes that Jonathan Schanzer, of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, explained in a recent Foreign Policy article how the U.S. could go about precipitating Hamas’s downfall by lobbying Hamas’s remaining benefactors in Turkey and Qatar to trim their funding.
“Of course,” Goldberg writes,”the collapse of Hamas wouldn’t mean instantaneous Palestinian Authority rule. But nothing at all will happen with Hamas in power.”