Michael Young on why Western and Arab engagement with Hamas is counterproductive:

Sometimes, no solution is better than a bad one. Hamas is undeniably a difficult interlocutor to avoid on Palestinian issues. The movement has effective veto power over most major Palestinian decisions. However, negotiating with Hamas would only better allow it to change the subject away from what it wants most to avoid: a settlement with Israel along the post-Oslo lines defined during the 1990s. If deadlock is assured on the Palestinian track in the coming year, then it's best to avoid talking to Hamas, allowing the Palestinians themselves, perhaps in the next elections, to cut the movement down to size first. And if they don't do so, then they should prepare to see their national aspirations postponed indefinitely.

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