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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Should the EU talk to Hamas?

Is it time for the EU to consider talking directly to Hamas? Several European governments believe that the current policy of isolating the Hamas and so weakening the extremist has failed if not even has strengthened support for Hamas among Palestinians. On the other hand the Fatah has suffered from their role as more modest and open minded party. So what shall the EU do?

On June 11th Dr. Mark Heller, Director of Research and Principal Research Associate at the Institute for National Security Studies, pointed out his view on this question at the European Parliament. Heller has written extensively on Middle Eastern political and strategic issues and published numerous book chapters and articles in prestigious journals.

In the debate MEP Jana Hybaskova and Emanuele Ottolenghi, Executive Director of the Transatlantic Institute, considered a constructive dialog with the Hamas in the future as possible.
In opposition to that Dr. Mark Heller neglected any dialog-cooperation between the European Union with Hamas as long Hamas is “using violence and hanging with terror, and so long they don’t accept the reality and existence of Israel in Middle
Heller warned the EU that talking to the Hamas means to legitimate and tolerate the terrorist organisation which doesn't respect any conditions or international agreements. He underlined that “it will give wrong impression to all the states in the Middle East that Europe accommodates to the force of the Islam terror rather then be opposed to its brutal means".
According to Heller, only Israel and the Palestinian Authority with the help of Egypt can successfully solve the issue of this Islamic organisation. However, any engagement of the EU would discredit the European values and standards.

Visit the Transatlantic Institute here to get more information

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