Is it Necessary to Negotiate With Hamas?

From Goldblog reader Daniel Alexander:

Regarding your quote from Meshaal, and the later post about Carter's editorial, I would like to see a bit more analysis.  Specifically, Hamas is a terrorist organization committed to Israel's destruction and establishing a Palestinian state from sea to sea;but they are also one of two major powers in the territories.  They control Gaza.  So how can there be negotiations without them?  Let's be real, they are not going to accept the Quartet's conditions, of accepting past agreements, etc.  That basically amounts to preconditions for negotiations, which even Bibi has said he is opposed to.  I don't like Hamas as much as you (I volunteered for service in the IDF, in a combat unit), but they are the de facto rulers in Gaza.  There is no way to negotiate with the Palestinians without them.  And to the fact that they call for Israel's destruction, so did the PLO (and its members occasionally still do).  So what do you expect will happen without them?  And getting back to the quote, I would not expect that anyone would come to negotiations with anything short of their hard line position as the basis.

I just tend to think that Hamas is structurally and ideologically incapable of negotiating a peace agreement with Israel. The better thing to do is to buttress the secularists and the democrats, and keep the pressure up on Hamas, whose rule in Gaza is less-and-less popular with each passing day.