Forgetting Palestine

The New Statesman, March 6:

Hamas faces an urgent predicament. No shift: no money. Many Palestinians voted for change as much for the pledge of a cleaner administration as for a hardening of policy towards Israel. Yet Iran provides an example, and not the only one, of governments finding popular support in stridency. This is a time for intelligent diplomacy, something that has been in short supply in recent years. Hamas must be required to make a gesture; this should coincide with a longer-term economic package, and thereafter by the beginnings of a political dialogue with Israel. Given the grievances, it will not be easy for either side to move, but move they must.

A sense of injustice and a lack of opportunities provide a key link (if not the only link) with terrorism. In the coming months the very survival of the Palestinian state will be determined. It is in the self-interest even of its detractors, Israel in particular, to help build that state, not destroy it.…