U.S. Must Help Deal Directly With Hamas

Scott Atran in the New York Times:

AtranIsrael, with strong U.S. support, has long endeavored to defang and destroy Hamas. But Hamas has shown resilient political and military capacity, along with greater sensitivity to popular sentiment and international concerns.

Nevertheless, as the Hamas vice chairman Abu Musa Marzouk acknowledged to me in Cairo, Hamas believes the right of Palestinians to return to homes in Israel is sacred and it will never abandon hope of a sovereign Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

Still, wars truly end when one side is obliterated or when enemies become nonenemies. For the latter, enemies first must talk. After spleens are vented, over years if necessary, as happened in Northern Ireland, enough grudging accommodation can emerge to stop the killing even if dreams of triumph endure. To succeed, such a process requires persistence, with strong international backing and policing.

More here.