We must engage Hamas

My latest New Matilda column is about the need to talk to Hamas and speak honestly about Israel’s ever-expanding occupation:

The international isolation of Hamas has failed. This is not merely the opinion of those who believe that the democratically elected Palestinian Government should be engaged, but includes a number of prominent Israelis, including Yossi Alpher, the former adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

Life in Gaza, suffering under an economic and military blockade, remains tough. Security has largely been restored due to Hamas security services, although some Gazans complain of a loss of individual rights, press freedom and women’s mobility. Hamas-controlled media continues to broadcast incitement against Jews.

Despite these challenges, Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal reiterated last week his group’s commitment to a two-state solution and the need for the establishment of a sovereign state within the 1967 borders. His call was ignored throughout the world. Even the New York Times recently intimated that forever shunning Hamas was counter-productive.

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