POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
Seems rather a "no-brainer" doesn't it?
Has anyone ever achieved peace anywhere, at any time, without talking to opponents?
The example of Northern Ireland comes immediately to mind.
And just who are the terrorists in any given situation is never so clear as some would like us to believe. Generally, one side has all the power, and the other side, the one without power, is labeled “terrorist.”
In this way the word “terrorist” is used much the way Stalin used the word “wreckers.” Every time Stalin started mumbling about some new “wreckers of the Revolution,” insiders understood it was time for a new wave of state terror.
Israel insists Hamas is a terrorist organization to which it cannot speak, but if you do a body count, I do believe you'll find Israel has killed civilians on a scale several orders of magnitude greater than anything Hamas has even tried.
The same goes for Afghanistan, the Taleban is a large part of the population, not a tiny “terrorist” organization. It is, after all, their land that was invaded. There can be no peace without their involvement.
The alternative to talking with your opponent is unconditional victory or annihilation of the opponent, the kind of thing the U.S, inflicted upon Japan. I regard this approach as Hitlerian.
The Japanese had put out serious peace feelers to many countries, and all they asked for was to keep the emperor. The U.S. answer was two atomic bombs on civilian targets. When the Japanese utterly abased themselves, the U.S. let them keep their emperor.
And that is Israel's approach to Hamas exactly. Nothing less than total surrender and destruction will do. This from a state whose founding and growth are intimately involved with terror.