Columnist Charles Krauthammer (TNT, 11-23) and several recent letter writers might ask Israeli leaders why they originally supported Hamas, granting a charter and funds to Sheikh Ahmed Yassin (they would later assassinate him).
The goal was to split support in the Palestinian community for the hated Palestinian Liberation Organization. Lines hardened on both sides, and Hamas became more militant during the first intifada, but Israel still found it useful as a non-PLO force and as a means of infiltrating the Palestinian community, even after the Oslo Accords.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has admitted Israel’s complicity with Hamas and has been criticized for stating that if he were a young Palestinian, he would probably join one of the militant groups.
Is it time to ask Israeli leaders to take responsibility for their original support of Hamas? Perhaps they could extend a hand and say, “We have all suffered too much. We know terrorism; we practiced it ourselves when it served our purpose in establishing the state of Israel. Then we turned to politics. We invite you to do the same. We are here. You are here. We have the power to obliterate you. You have the power to deny us security. Let us instead work together for the betterment of all our people.”