Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser on the importance of bringing Hamas in from the political cold:
Hamas was isolated, violence – predictably – resumed and the whole region paid the price.
Israel and America also made attempts to strengthen Fatah, to weaken or destroy Hamas. Such attempts have failed. Fatah’s leadership was not up to that challenge and too many Palestinians thought that Fatah was self-serving and incompetent.
What happens now? Does Australia have a role? Do we wish to advance the Obama agenda?
Australian governments have paid lip service to even-handedness between Israel and the Palestinians. We have spoken against the expansion of settlements, but along with the rest of the world we have not been effective.