I missed this news a few weeks ago (thanks to Promised Land for picking it up) that a majority of Israelis favour some kind of negotiation with Hamas:
Israelis don’t oppose negotiations in general – but they don’t feel an urgency to negotiate as well. Things are OK right now, so for all they care, they could stay this way. What’s a bit surprising is the high number – 57 percent – willing to negotiated with Hamas (on condition it renounces terrorism and recognize Israel, but as we have seen with the PLO in the 90’s, what’s important is the general willingness).
I don’t think this number can be attributed to a surprising rise in the popularity of Shaul Mofaz, but rather to the fact that unlike the Palestinians in the West Bank, the Hamas does pose a problem to Israelis. It threatens our towns, it holds a captive Israeli soldier, and it causes us diplomatic damage through its use of the Goldstone report. Unlike the Palestinian Authority, Hamas is a threat, and many Israelis apparently understood the hidden lesson of Cast Lead – that it can’t be dealt with only by force. That’s the only way to explain what seems like an incredibly strange fact: Israelis are ready to negotiate with Hamas, but don’t feel any need to do so with Abu-Mazen. And while this is an understandable human tendency – most people treats what’s hurting them; only few use preventive medicine – its implications on the future of the conflict are very grim.