Just in case you were wondering whether it’s time to talk to Hamas, Powerline recently picked up a report
from Dan Diker of the Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs, who quotes a Palestinian Authority official who told him that Hamas recently received a 2 million dollar donation from Lashkar e Taibe, the Pakistani terrorist group behind the Mumbai attack. Some of us, more than others, will find newsworthy this additional revelation of the international interconnectedness of jihadist terror. But it serves as a nice reminder as to who everybody is, and on which side — a reminder that is crucial as more an more people suggest that Israel or the U.S. hold direct talks with Hamas.
There are those who say: Terrorism is evil, wretched, and should be boycotted at every turn — every turn, that is, until the terrorists get a lot of power, or begin to look like sovereign states. At that point, the only way to deal with them is through talking. Power triumphs over principle, realpolitik trumps moral revulsion.
We can understand where this is coming from. After all, the Soviet Union was a very bad regime, and the West only defeated them through a combination of the soft walk and the big stick. But Hamas and Iran are much, much smaller creatures, and it seems that the bar for negotiation has been drastically lowered. Every time we legitimize such regimes through negotiation, we are overcoming an extremely important moral sensibility in ourselves, diluting it and weakening it. We are also drastically incentivizing the terrorists’ rise to power. The West used to say to its enemies: Stay small, below the radar, and we’ll mostly ignore you. Now it’s saying: Get yourself a piece of land and something that looks like an army, and the West will suddenly soften its posture.