Is it time to talk to Hamas?

Palestinian supporters of the Islamic group Hamas take part in a rally to protest the killing of 2 senior Hamas militants in the central Gaza Strip, Oct 8, 2010.  (credit: Ashraf Amra / APA Images)
Time to rethink positions that have led to a stalemate that’s going nowhere.

By Jonathan Kuttab | Mondoweiss | June 29, 2022

Hamas has become a convenient excuse for indefinite occupation.

Many of us are concerned about the failure of the world to address the siege of Gaza, which has gone on for 15 years and kept two million Palestinians trapped in an unlivable open-air prison. The real elephant in the room, however, and the justification used for failing to lift that siege is the fact that the Gaza Strip is currently ruled by Hamas—considered an illegitimate terrorist organization, hell-bent on the destruction of Israel and, as such, not a potential candidate for negotiations or peace.

The existence of Hamas is also the lame excuse given for the paralysis of peace talks. Since the Palestinians are divided and Mahmoud Abbas cannot (and is not allowed to) talk either with or for Hamas, it is said that there exists “no one to talk to” on the Palestinian side. Hamas has become a convenient excuse for indefinite occupation.

It may well be time to broach the taboo subject of talking to Hamas and seek instead a way of bringing them into the peace conversation. Certainly, there can be no peace without Hamas and its followers participating in some way or another.

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