“Israel sees Hamas' decision to join the political process as a threat.”
Why? Wouldn’t it be better to encourage your enemies to join the democratic political process, which carries opportunities for peaceful dialogue and amicable negotiations, rather than stick to the military option?
“Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has criticized Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for choosing to co-opt the militants rather than crush them.”
It's obscene that Sharon has the bloody gall to criticise Abbas for doing the right thing, though we know of course that Sharon is always out to demonise or obstruct the Palestinians in one way or another.
Abbas has set the first step for converting swords into plowshares.
"And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isaiah 2:4)
I guess with an Old Testament character like Ariel Sharon who only knows how to smite, he wouldn't understand the meaning of peace, no, not when he is building the Berlin Wall of the East.
Hmmm, speaking of Old Testament characters, I recall there were Israelis like Menachem Begin and his Irgun, and the notorious Avraham Stern and his organization Lehi (or Stern Gang). Both were terrorist organisations with cold blooded killers, yet are idolised today by the Israelis and honoured by the Knesset as heros.
The Irgun was a terrorist organisation committed not only against British rule but in fact war against the Palestinians - exactly the mirror objective of HAMAS, namely war against Israel. So, what is the difference between the Irgun and HAMAS?
LEHI assassinated UN-envoy Count Folke Bernadotte, a man who saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust, successfully negotiating with the Nazis to hand them over to him.
The Irgun and Stern Gang jointly and systematically murdered 100 Palestinian civilians including women and children at Deir Yassin in April 1948. T'was an ominous portent to a future Sabra & Shatila.
With such a history of unmitigated terror and indiscriminate killings, Israel is hardly qualified to call others terrorists! If they consider murderous Begin and his Irgun, and Stern and his LEHI as freedom fighters, then the answer regarding the Palestinian struggle for freedom and to be masters of their own land is obvious.
One hopes the USA won't be persuaded (or hoodwinked by Sharon) to cold-shoulder the democratically elected HAMAS members. The old wily fox always seeks excuses to sabotage any political process to prevent or hinder the Palestinian statehood.
Engage these HAMAS people politically rather than militarily.
For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.