May 21, 2014 12:11 AM
By Rami G. Khouri
The Daily Star
This is a significant change from the situation eight years ago, when Hamas won the January 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections and headed the new government, which promptly elicited an Israeli-American boycott of that government. This time, the Palestinians have been more diplomatically astute by announcing clearly and often – as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did in recent meetings with top U.S. officials John Kerry and Susan Rice – that the new government will be committed to Abbas’ diplomatic program and will abide by the Quartet’s three conditions.
If the U.S. and the EU practice pragmatic diplomacy and engage with the new Palestinian unity government, this will severely isolate the Israeli government internationally, which would likely lead to one of three options: Israeli public opinion could force a new general election to validate or throw out the current rightist government; or Israel could provoke some new military crisis with the intention of showing the world that Hamas’ inclusion in the Palestinian government only leads to violence.
Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Columnist/2014/May-21/257196-applaud-us-pragmatism-on-hamas.ashx#ixzz32dlEPW00
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)