When it comes to Israeli-US strategies of dealing with Palestinians and their resistance movements, carrots are also sticks
A Good Comment
By Ramzy Baroud
Let historians contend whether Arafat was tricked by a peace ploy that saw the softening of the PLO's position while the Israeli position continued to harden unchecked. The fact is, the seeds of Palestinian division were planted during those years and Palestinians were compartmentalised -- between moderates, extremists, maximalists, minimalists, pragmatists, rejectionists and so on. Further, the political gains of the PLO were made irrelevant, and were later used exclusively for personal gain, starting in 1974, passing through Oslo, the subsequent "peace process" years, and finally reaching today's dead end.
World media is now reporting that European countries are in direct contact with Hamas leaders, although officials are insisting that this contact is independent and not linked to larger government initiatives. More, several US congressmen visited Gaza, again with similar disclaimers. US Senator John Kerry, who led the US delegation, claimed that the US position regarding Hamas has not changed, and repeated the conditions that Hamas must meet before any engagement is possible.
One has to be wary of the history that rendered the once influential PLO the trivial organisation that it is today. History often repeats itself, true, but it doesn't have to if one remembers such historical lessons. Peace is not a "process", at least not in the Kissinger sense, and true dialogue and positive engagement require no stipulations and conditions. Hamas is now in the same precarious position that the PLO was in earlier years. Its future decisions shall influence the coming stage of this conflict, and thus the fate of the Palestinian people, in countless ways."