Hamas claims that even if it changed its stripes, becoming as docile as Abu Mazen, Israel would not provide the necessary conditions to create a sustainable sovereign state. This is doubtless true, but Hamas is using the point as an excuse. If it wants to advance the interests of the Palestinian people, it should stop playing rhetorical games (like talk of a thousand-year cease-fire). It should declare its readiness to negotiate with Israel on the basis of a complete end to the Occupation. Its leaders should stop venting fiery proclamations, which only help Israel to isolate the Palestinian people and to justify its violence. The Palestinians don’t need feel-good verbal fireworks. They need a period of political stability in order to strengthen their cohesiveness, their institutions and their economy.
It is arguable that whatever position Hamas takes in the coming months, Israel and the West will ignore it anyway. Only complete capitulation will satisfy the Jewish state.