Exiled Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk said President Barack Obama must enter into dialogue with their organization before it would even renounce violence– a key demand of the United States. Marzouk claimed his organization was the real representative of the Palestinian people which thus made it impossible to have any discussions without their presence. “They know that without Hamas their efforts will not succeed. In his Cairo speech, the president challenged Palestinian leaders to renounce violence and accept the reality of the Israel government.
Hamas is undoubtedly an important cog in any process that would lead to peace, but it falls into the trap of too many Israeli and Palestinian leaders who want the United States to somehow negotiate a peace between rival organizations. Hamas has the power to, at least, say it will renounce violence during a peace process while retaining the right to return to violence if the effort collapses. The ultimate decision for peace resides in the hands of Israelis and Palestinians, not Americans.