Last month, President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered speeches on Arab-Israeli peace. In response, Hamas political chief Khaled Mashal last week proffered his views on the conflict. However, unlike Obama and Netanyahu’s vision of peace, Mashal refused to end the conflict with Israelis and renounce violence.
Since its founding in 1987, Hamas has systematically undermined peace efforts. Its charter calls for the destruction of Israel, replacing it with an Islamic state. Moreover, while Hamas refuses to recognize Israel, it has also been engaged in a bloody civil war since June 2007 with its secular rival Fatah.
To this end, Mashal’s speech offers little hope that Hamas will reform its rejectionist ideology. Nevertheless, former president Jimmy Carter visited Mashal in Damascus last month, and insists that Hamas is the key to peace and must not be shunned.