J Street favors the United States negotiating with Hamas.
J Street believes that Hamas’ consistent opposition to the peace process, its support for terror against Israeli civilians, its use of violence for political purposes, and its repeated denial of the Holocaust are all reprehensible and abominable.
We also recognize, however, that one makes peace with one’s enemies not one’s friends. Hamas is a political movement that has an important and significant base of support within Palestinian society and politics. Ultimately, a political resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will require Palestinian political reconciliation and we support efforts by third parties to achieve reconciliation and a unity government, whose officials will work within a diplomatic process to achieve an acceptable two-state solution.
Further, we would not oppose a decision by the Israeli government, the United States, or other countries to find unofficial, indirect ways to engage Hamas in order to advance U.S. and Israeli interests. For instance, it is important to remember that this Israeli government and prior ones have engaged indirectly with Hamas over such issues as bringing home Gilad Shalit and achieving ceasefires that end rocket attacks against Israel.