Cite: Byman, Is Hamas Winning?

Byman, Daniel. “Is Hamas Winning?” Washington Quarterly 36.3 (2013): 63-76.





In short, the United States can tolerate Hamas’ further diplomatic rise if the Palestinian movement pays the price by moving away from its “resistance” model. Israeli policy would match this with opportunities on the ground, continuing to expand Hamas’ ability to govern Gaza if—and only if—it does not use violence. At the same time, Israel, with strong U.S. support, would continue to improve its defenses against Hamas missiles and prepare to employ (and when necessary use) force, should Hamas continue to support using violence.
Trying to transform Hamas is necessary both because bolstering moderates may fail and because Hamas maintains the power to stop the peace process. Indeed, apart from all the usual (and justified) arguments for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, a peaceful deal also makes it more likely that Hamas will not become the dominant voice of the Palestinian people. For if the talks fail and Palestinian moderates continue to falter, Hamas will emerge the victor.

The current drift in policy is the worst of all worlds.


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