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Obama May Reverse Stance on Hamas

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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.