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A nation must think before it acts.
President Bush professes optimism that an Arab-Israeli peace accord can be reached before he leaves office. Hamas, which presumably senses his urgency, has recently proposed a temporary truce with Israel in Gaza, with an option to extend it to the West Bank. This initiative is eerily reminiscent of Soviet behavior during the Cold War. Hamas essentially advocates a short-term period of peaceful coexistence to bide time while it strengthens its forces and lulls Israel into a false sense of security. If the United States accedes to this proposal or pressures Israel to do so, it will demonstrate once again the Cold War-style attitudes and perceptions that still characterize its approach to the “peace process.”