Caroline Glick writes this for The Jerusalem Post:
AND THIS brings us back to Tuesday evening's highway massacre. Predictably, the Obama administration led the way in framing the terrorist violence as a bid by Hamas to derail the newest round of negotiations. For example, after meeting with Netanyahu Wednesday Obama said, "The tragedy that we saw yesterday where people were gunned down on the street by terrorists who are purposely trying to undermine these talks is an example of what we're up against."
The only party that rejected the administration's rationalization of the attack was Hamas, whose operatives reportedly carried it out. In an interview Thursday with the London-based Asharq al Awsat, Hamas leader Mahmoud A-Zahar said that the talks have nothing to do with the attack. As he put it, "The bid to link this operation to the negotiations is completely wrong. When people have the opportunity, the capability and the targets, they act."
The truth is probably found neither in A-Zahar's claim nor in Obama's assertion. In all likelihood, Hamas was testing the waters. Iran's Palestinian proxy wanted to know whether the regular rules for peace processes have kicked into gear yet. Those rules -- as the families of the hundreds of Israelis murdered by Palestinian terrorists during the peak years of peace processes will attest -- involve Israel giving free rein to terrorists to murder Jews during "peace talks."
Since Yitzhak Rabin first shook Yassir Arafat's hand on the White House lawn 17 years ago, successive prime ministers have opted to not to retaliate for murderous attacks when peace talks are in session. They have justified their willingness to give the likes of Hamas a free hand to murder by claiming that fighting back would be tantamount to allowing terrorists to hold the peace process hostage. Conducting counter-terror campaigns in the midst of negotiations, they have uniformly argued, would endanger the talks and so, Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad must all be given a carte blanche to murder.
Echoing these sentiments precisely, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin all reportedly objected to launching any response to Tuesday's attack. According to the media, the three closed ranks against Netanyahu who reportedly wished to attack Hamas targets in Gaza following the massacre.
Wednesday's roadside shooting attack, in which a man and his wife were wounded, was a clear indication that Hamas and its ilk received the message. Just as A-Zahar said, they are always looking for an opportunity. And in not responding to Tuesday's attack, Israel told them that for the duration of these negotiations, Hamas can again kill with impunity. (“The New Netanyahu?”).