If the U.S. or Israel were to accept Hamas’ willingness to negotiate, they would tacitly acknowledge that Hamas is a player in the game.
Here is some recent news from Israeli and Arab sources that you might have missed:
Haaretz reported that “Hamas’ political leader Khaled Meshal said Hamas would accept a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip along Israel’s pre-1967 borders, and would grant Israel a 10-year hudna, or truce, as an implicit proof of recognition if Israel withdraws from those areas.”
According to Gulf News, “Former US president Jimmy Carter said that exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal had told him the movement would accept a peace deal if it was approved in a Palestinian vote. … Hamas will accept a ceasefire that is limited to the Gaza Strip, dropping its long-standing demand that the West Bank be included in any halt in fighting with Israel, senior representatives of the group said.”
Haaretz also noted that “the most significant change in Hamas’ stance in the talks over a calm is that it gave up on its demand that the calm extend to both Gaza and the West Bank. This may lead to a breakthrough, but if Israel refuses this offer, Hamas will continue its policy of the past few weeks ¬ escalating the violence and rocket fire.”
Israel did refuse this offer, in such a quiet low-key way that it seemed Israel simply ignored the it, along with other olive branches tentatively offered by Hamas in the wake of Jimmy Carter’s talks with Hamas leaders. The U.S. government and our mainstream media did much the same (though the New York Times belatedly let Carter publish an op-ed column). What could have been heralded as a new opening toward peace in the Middle East has instead been expunged from the discourse, flushed down the memory hole into the oblivion of official nonexistence.