Efraim Halevy is no dove.
The bluntly speaking former Mossad chief, a key adviser to former prime minister Ariel Sharon who supported harsh retaliation against Palestinian terror, is a supporter of the Iraq War who issues dark warnings about the dramatic increase in Europe’s Muslim population. So, there were more than a few puzzled looks at a meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations last week when Halevy spoke out about the need to engage Hamas.
Twice he warned his audience that “we’ll be seeing things we have not seen before,” a seeming allusion to potential talks between Israel and Hamas.
Halevy, who was touring the United States to promote his book, “Man in the Shadows: Inside the Middle East Crisis With a Man Who Led the Mossad,” advocated talks with what he described as this the “deathly enemy of Israel” as part of a broader strategy to “sup with the devil” and forge allies within the fundamentalist camp. Having retired in 2003, Halevy now heads Hebrew University’s School for Strategic and Policy Study. He pointedly blasted Israel for insisting that Hamas first recognize the Jewish state as a precondition for any discussion.
“The shoe is on the other foot,” he said. “We should recognize them first while holding them [to] account.”
Don’t hold your breath.