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Obama Ready to Talk to Hamas January 8, 2009

Posted by neoavatara in Politics, World Politics.
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Obama's vision of the path to peace in the Middle East

Obama's vision of the path to peace in the Middle East

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/08/barack-obama-gaza-hamas

The incoming Obama administration is getting ready to start low level talks with Hamas once in power.  They will end the isolationary practices of the Bush Administration, believing opening a dialogue will lead further down the road to a peace initiative.

Of course, this is a strange time for making this public.  There is widespread belief that the Israelis initiated the current Gaza incursion specifically because they didn’t trust Barack Obama in protecting their interests.  This story seems to support the Israelis belief.

The U.S., frankly, should not make Israeli opposition the determinative factor in talking to Hamas.  We have priorities of our own.  The quesiton is, at what point would Obama be willing to really open dialogue with Hamas.  While they still have the stated goal of destroying Israel?  Or does Hamas have to make some concessions before being able to receive anything in return? Additionally, by talking to Hamas, are we weakening the moderate administration of Abbous Abbas, head of Fatah and the West Bank?  Probably.

Maybe more important will be the success or failure of the current Israeli invasion.  Obama may be more likely to talk to Hamas if they are impotent; i.e. if Israel annhilates Hamas military forces, then they won’t be much of a threat.  Much easier to talk to a toothless enemy.

Ironically, Obama’s silence over the past few weeks has significantly hurt his credibility among the Arab street.  They were jubilant with his electoral victory in November, but have been highly disappointed with his response the Gaza situation.  So Obama may have wanted to open new channels of communication with our enemies, only to have them stopped even before he takes office.

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