By Ben Cohen
The Guardian reports on some possibly good news from the Obama camp:
The Guardian has spoken to three people with knowledge of the
discussions in the Obama camp. There is no talk of Obama approving
direct diplomatic negotiations with Hamas early on, but he is being
urged by advisers to initiate low-level or clandestine approaches, and
there is growing recognition in Washington that the policy of
ostracising Hamas is counter-productive. A tested course would be to
start contacts through Hamas and the US intelligence services, similar
to the secret process through which the US engaged with the PLO in the
1970s. Israel did not become aware of the contacts until much later.
One of Obama's main pledges throughout his campaign was his willingness to negotiate with enemies, something he contradicted when announcing he would not negotiate with Hamas. I don't think we should expect groundbreaking policy differences with an Obama administration, but the nuances do count, and any sort of contact will be beneficial for the prospect of long term peace.