How do you get a stalled peace process back on track in the world’s most complicated and fragile region? Well, I’ll be honest, I have no idea (you thought I did?). But maybe, trying to think positively, what you do is you put the bad guys in charge.
You elect the least democratic and most belligerent party in the political landscape and, maybe, under threat of international isolation and withdrawal of vital funds, they set aside the AK47s and the suicides and the toxic rhetoric and, maybe, they morph into statesmen and peacemakers before your eyes…
I told you I had no idea but is there a small chance that the simple fact of being in power in a fledgling democracy might influence Hamas in the direction of an accommodation with Israel?
Stuart Hughes, BBC producer (who came pretty close to getting killed in Northern Iraq during the war), is doing a fascinating (and slick) podcast from the region.
Whatever anyone might make out, this is not a normal situation. A society that is abused and dispersed and ed and held hostage and bullied for decades is going to have a hard time looking after itself.
Hamas seems to me an entirely human response to the situation.
Maybe I should grow up, but something deep down inside me cheers when a people says that, even though the whole world tells it it should , it just will not accept the theft of its land.
Now, this is tricky territory, but I’m not exactly sure that Israel does have a legitimate claim to the land. I know everyone just wants those Palestinians to give us a break and forget about the y land – but isn’t the land what every army and every government and every mythical creed and belief is fundamentally about. So why should those intelligent educated Palestinians just forget about it.
In fact, Hamas’s position seems quite interesting. ‘We’re happy to have a long, long truce. But we don’t accept that you stole our land. We can let our descendants sort it out IF YOU’LL JUST GET OFF OUR BACKS AND STOP HUMILIATING US.’
Personally, I think the sooner the whole of Palestine becomes a combined democracy run by all the people who live there, the better.