Today the resumption of negotiations was anounced by the U.S.  This is great news but I worry that Netanyahu, Abbas, and Obama will still have to deal with Hamas at some point.  How will they resolve that?  A Palestinian civil war could be one outcome, but I hope there will be others.

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Another messed up issue from the middle east, i have no idea how they would solve that. They have to bring Hammas to the table too, the PLO is talking to Hammas too, I guess at some point we will see...
Fortunately, Hamas is localized, with its power base in the Gaza Strip. It also feeds off of the misery of people living there. If an arrangement can be reached in the West Bank and the Palestinians in Gaza see some viable solution, there's a chance that their support for Hamas will dwindle.
I think that Syria and Iran are key to the solution, unfortunately. If Hamas leaders see that support from those two weakens, they are more likely to compromise. Considering that the leaders of both Syria and Hamas are motivated by nothing other than keeping their governments in power by force, I am not optimistic. But I would be glad to be proven wrong.
what I really don't understand is how Hammas got to that point in the beginning, remember when they had the famous elections, I was watching Shlomo Ben Ami (this is probably a misspelling) giving a speech about how Hammas recognizes Israel simple by being part of the elections and how they can use that to bring them to a solution, but both Israel and the PLO kept pushing Hammas away, until it got to this messed up point. None of the things made sense to me, I often feel like in the middle east leaders want things to get worst, thats why i'm not optimistic, how do we know that now especially with fundamentalists in the Israeli government, Hammas, and the PLO being not in a very powerful position there will ever be a point of negotiations?
Regarding Shlomo Ben Ami, I read his book "Scars of war, wounds of peace". I recommend it. It is probably the best book I have read on the conflict.

With regard to the Israeli government, I am not sure a right-wing government is a bad thing. They are much more likely to be able to get an agreement approved by the Knesset. Similarly Hamas would have a better chance than the PLO to get an agreement approved by the Palestinians.
It's a point people forget. Begin gave back the entire Sinai, for instance, while the Madrid negotiations which led to Oslo under Rabin actually began under Shamir. As for Sharon, you can read this article I wrote about a film by a good friend of mine, who is hardly a rightwinger:
Thanks for the article. I became a fan of Sharon when he withdrew the troops from Gaza. I think that his sudden stroke was a big setback for the peace process. I believe that he was a pragmatist more than anything else. By the way, did you mean that you read the article or that you wrote it?




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