Egypt Calls on Hamas to Recognize Israel
Two top Egyptian officials called on Hamas to recognize Israel, disarm and honor past peace deals Wednesday, a new sign Arab governments are pushing the militant group to moderate after its surprise election victory. “Nobody will talk to them before they stop violence, recognize Israel and accept (peace) agreements, including the road map,” the chief of Egyptian intelligence, Omar Suleiman, told journalists in Cairo. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s spokesman, Suleiman Awaad, also called on Hamas to recognize peace deals with Israel. Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat “was able to change his position. There is nothing that prevents smart leaders from changing their positions to behave accordingly,” Awaad said.
Hamas stunned Israel, its allies and much of the Arab world with its overwhelming victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections last week and is under intense pressure from the international community — including Arab nations — to step back from its platform of the destruction of Israel.
But in Syria, a senior Hamas official rejected demands from the United States and European Union to disarm and accept Israel, saying the group would not change its principles. “These conditions could not be accepted and the U.S. president should accept reality and facts,” Moussa Abu Marzouk, Hamas’ deputy head of the political bureau, said from exile in Damascus. “(President Bush) should deal with Hamas as it is.”
Given that vowing to wipe Israel off the map is half their appeal, I suspect this will not hapen. Still, it’s a good sign that the Egyptian regime wants to be on the right side of history. And the United States.