Thursday, January 26, 2006

Hamas victory is a victory for Israel

We should help Hamas deliver significant economic and social welfare improvements to its core constituency, the Palestinian poor.

They voted for better lives not more war with Israel. The natural outcome of Hamas meeting the needs of its people would set the stage for serious final status negotiations.

With a final status agreement disarming the Palestinian street could be achieved with international community buying back weapons at above market prices in the same way Israeli greenhouse farmers were bought out to evacuate Gaza peacefully.

It would be totally irrational for the international community and Israel to refuse to deal with a Hamas unless it immediately recognised Israel and disarmed. Aid money should flow so long as Hamas doesn't launch attacks on Israel. There's simply no way Hamas could meet the economic aspirations of the Palestinians without cooperating with Israel.

In government Hamas will learn in a fraction of a nanosecond fulfilling campaign promises is tougher than making them.

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