The war of words in the Middle East escalated as leaders of Hamas told cheering crowds in the Gaza Strip that Israel would meet a defeat if its troops invaded the Gaza Strip. “The IDF’s withdrawal,” said Hamas leader Mushair al Masri, “from the Gaza Strip will become a graveyard for its troops.” Hamas Prime Minister Haniyeh attacked any nation or group which supports the existence of Israel as an insult to Allah and boasted he was ready to lead a third of fourth intifada against Israel. In the meantime, Israel leaders were warning any invasion of the Gaza Strip must not result in damage to the authority of the Fatah led government of President Abbas.
It is relatively easy for Hamas leaders to boast and promise death and destruction, the only problem is that an Israel invasion of Gaza will result in death and destruction to many people, including hundreds of Palestinians. Hamas is long on rhetoric and short on offering positive solutions to problems besetting the Palestinian people. Israel and the United States insist not recognizing the existence of Hamas nor engaging in discussions with its leaders will somehow damage the organization. There is scant evidence such an occurrence is happening. Not talking with Hamas allows its leaders to shout defiance to the wind and to adoring crowds, but forcing them to discuss and negotiate will reduce verbal attacks and make its leaders deal with the presence of other Arab leaders who are not impressed by the shouting that goes over so well with crowds.