13 july 2013, ever ending ?

The background noise is growing that the western powers are finally moving towards declassifying hamas as untouchable and making them part of the peace process. Indeed, what has been apparent for some time, not least in john kerry's invisible shuttling attempts, is that you can't have a two-state solution, indeed any peace process, without them. Europe, oddly, was always the swing voter that will make this happen, but until now has badly misjudged the call (you can read this thesis in full in how we made the fatal mistake of not talking to hamas), for fear of rocking the boat on more important things with the us, which israel succeeded in convincing the last american president was the price it needed to pay for that. The eu has always split on the conflict, and has very little influence over israel, although it has always strongly backed the (oslo-founded, plo/fatah-based) palestinian authority. Increasingly though, several member states are coming round to having more skin in the game by being the obama vanguard in ensuring that the ongoing big pragmatist-radical battle within hamas is won by the former. Ultimately that is the first stage of a sequence that needs to take place before anything can be achieved: hamas evidence a willingness to talk; the west recognises their right to be part of the process; america cajoles israel to do the same; the two palestinian factions unite; and israel and palestine (it's now a country) are put in a room under heavy international auspices until a process and a plan come out (we got there with oslo). Finally there then needs to be years of intense ongoing engagement to actually follow through until we have something like sustainable peace. If you will it, it is no dream.