The U.S., the European Union, the United Nations — all these actors insist that Hamas give up its commitment to violence and recognize Israel before the group can be diplomatically engaged and sanctions on it can be lifted. Yet Hamas refuses to alter its core principles, accepting pariah status as the cost of ideological sincerity.
On the tactical side, Hamas’ attempt over the past few days to strike Tel Aviv and Jerusalem (the latter being home to Islamic holy sites) was the very opposite of “pragmatic.” Had any of the rockets headed for those two population centers struck a significant target, as opposed to being intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system, the Israeli response would have been swift and uncompromising.
An invasion of Gaza would have almost certainly occurred. Yet, as with its refusal to renounce its guiding beliefs, Hamas behaves in the suicidal fashion that is the hallmark of its terrorism, always prepared to fight another day.