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Of course we should talk to Hamas. The first thing we should say to them is "Do you recognise the state of Israel?"

But Stuart Polak isn't impartial, is he?

We shouldn't talk to hamas or to el-fatah. We should be pressing the EU to stop funding the 'palestinian authority' in all its forms. If there ever was an instance where hard economic sanctions are truly ethical, the bunch of murderous arabs currently running the corrupt nepotistic gangsterland they call 'palestine' is a textbook example.

No funding for terror; no talks with terror. Let the cutting-off of all aid to palestine serve as a demonstration of the Conservatives' commitment to an 'ethical' foreign policy.

How about we stop talking to Israel until they start obeying UN resolutions and leave the occupied territories.

How about a diary piece on the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Do the BBC even bother to check or challenge statements from the MOD anymore?

I agree - we must talk to Hamas - the Commons FCO report was a good flag in that direction. I get concerned at the level of influence that the Conservative Friends for Israel has in the Tory party today.

Cameron & Hague have got it right.
Hamas are Islamofascists, dedicated to the extermination of the Jews (as well as the the rest of we 'non-believers').

Hamas may be utterly reprehensible but they control Gaza and are increasing their influence on the West Bank.By not talking to them what we achieve?Nothing. Hague might as well put his head in the sand.

The CFI are a pressure group who only care about Israel - they care nothing for Britain.

Silence fuels extreme groups like Hamas. Yes, their principles are disgusting. But to refuse even to talk to them only advances their crusade against the West.

The West needs to show ordinary Palestinians that Hamas is making their lives (and security) worse. We do not do that by cutting off funding and diplomatic ties.

I think it would be an enormous pity if we didn't talk to Hamas. What we claim to be doing is another matter.

Government by oppression (which is what exists at the moment in parts of the middle east) is inherently unstable as well as morally dubious. It is ridiculous to pretend that leaving it to fester is going to help resolve the situation in any meaningful sense.

Nobody cares what the Tories have to say on this issue. However, UKIP should immediately...

Seriously, wouldn't you fight for your freedom? Would you accept Fatah running your ghetto for fifty years? What are Victoria Kluk's thoughts on this?

Hamas = Swarthy Nazis

any dialogue we have with these guy should begin with: "you have the right to remain silent".

Horrid though they are, Hamas are the democratically elected government of the Palestinian people...

If we refuse any dialogue we trash the whole principle of democracy...

We hear much about the need for democracy in the Middle East, but that rings pretty hollow if we reject the elected victors because they are people we don't like.

I hesitate to wade in to the quagmire of Middle Eastern politics, simply because of my lack of personal expertise in what is without a doubt a very volatile and complex region.

However, it seems to me that Conservatives are sensible in suggesting pre-conditions to formal negotiations, as in Hague and Cameron’s quotes above. This should, if we’re to be seen as an honest broker and have an impact on the debate about the region, be done on both sides to avoid fear or favour. Politics has to be about people. The Palestinian people, those who voted for and against Hamas, surely feel oppressed both by Israeli occupations, and by the violence between rival armed factions in their own territories. The Israeli people must feel equally oppressed by the possibility that the restaurant in which they are eating could be blown up at any moment by a terrorist suicide bomber.

In seeking a two-state solution as per the Quartet, we surely do need to place a reduction or preferably an at least temporary cessation in violence as a condition in coming to the table. It is hard to see how workable negotiations, the only though incredibly difficult long-term way forward, could be conducted otherwise without some demonstrable control over paramilitary factions of “political” movements.

I did enter in to this by noting my lack of direct expertise in the conflict, so constructive comments on this are most welcome...

We talked to the IRA, didn't we?

As long as we roll over and let the Israelis and their US protectors call all the shots we will make no contribution to peace in the Middle East.

There's a good deal too much cosiness with CFI etc. Cameron's initial approach to the situation was actually quite enlightened but he was pretty rapidly reined in.

Hence that daft twaddle about Conservative DNA being pro-Israeli, probably written by some gung-ho ex-FCS fanatic.

We shouldn't be pro either side.

Richard Carey is wholly correct and for someone who says he doesn't know much about the Middle East has presented by far the most sensible views on this thread. Sad to see the usual couple of racist remarks though, and yes antisemitism is still racism, even if London's Labour Mayor Ken Livingstone appears to think otherwise.

yes antisemitism is still racism

I've had a very long day and may have missed something but the only antisemitism I can see is of the anti-Arab variety.

Maybe that's what you meant.

Richard Carey is wholly correct and for someone who says he doesn't know much about the Middle East has presented by far the most sensible views on this thread.

Thank you very much, "Mr Angry". Despite your psuedonym, you must be in calm and thoughtful mood tonight!

Sure, chat with America's friends as milloins of Israelis live in America and have a vote. This is the kind of democracy they want in Iraq. God help Iraq. Grow up tories as in N.I WE SPOKE WITH THE IRA. under Major and he was right to do so. But alas ( oh and im NOT palestinian) cant even spell it. But we have to grow up and talk to both sides. Sorry for being serious for once, promise it's not long lasting.

Trad Tory personally I can see both thinly veiled anti arab and anti jewish views expressed above and of course both are technically anti semitism.

Richard, you're welcome.

This is really utter nonsense
It is about time the Conservative party took a more impartial attitude to Israel, and formed a real opposition to Labour, who are entirely in Israel's pockets, thanks to Lord Levy's donations.
We are not going to achieve peace in the Middle East, as long as we continue our biased and hypcoritical approach to the Palestinians.
Israel has rejected numerous offers of a two-state solution, such as the Geneva Accord Arab Peace Initiative in 2002, which Israel rejected. The US vetoed the first Geneva Accord calling for Israel to withdraw from Palestinian territory, in exchange for full recognition as a state, in 1976 and then Israel rejected the second Geneva Accord peace offer from the "confrontational" Arab states in 1980.

And Israeli negotiator Schlomo Ben Aimi has accepted that Camp David was not a genuine offer, as Israel did not agree to include East Jerusalem, in the West Bank land deal, even though East Jerusalem is legally Palestinian territory.
Israel did, however, make a better offer than Camp David, (though still, 10 per cent less than Israel is required to give the Palestinians, under the terms of the UN Security Council's Resolutions) in January, 2001 at Taba. Israel's chief negotiator excitedly told the European press "we have never been closer to an agreement". And guess what? Israel cancelled the Taba negotiations just as the Palestinans had accepted the deal.Because Barak had elections upcoming.
When Ariel Sharon then won the January elections, he refused to resume negotiations, and began to continue ilegal settlement-building programs.
Israel built more settlements in the year leading up to Camp David than in the five years previously, thougn hardly anyone knows this.

Why do I mention all of this? Because all of you ask why should we talk to Hamas unless they accept the Preconditions?
But the question is why should the Three Conditions not apply to Israel also?
Hamas do not "recognise Israel's right to exist"-but they are not occupying Israel, whereas sucessive Israeli Prime Ministers have refused to accept Palestine's right to exist and continued illegally occupying it and building settlements that breach international law and are condemned by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the World Court the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly.
Shimon Peres and Yhitzak Rabin both openly said they would never support a Palestinian state's right to exist. Peres famously said the Palestinians "do not need another homeland between Jordan and the sea".
So Israel has never accepted Palestine's right to exist. As they are required to, under international law.

Why should Hamas "accept previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinians" when Israel has breached the terms of numerous previous agreements, including the Oslo commitment not to further expand major illegal West Bank settlements, and not to further reduce the Arab population of East Jerusalem, both of which Israel has continued to do.
Why should Hamas "renounce all violence" ,even in self-defence, if Israel does not committ to any such thing?
And Israel has carried out kidnappings, keeps child prisoners in breach of international law,and has illegally attacked civilian targets (just read Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International's websites or the UN security Council condemnations of Israel's crimes that have been vetoed by the US)

US Justice Buergenthal of the World Court, backed the UN security Council Resolutiion condemning the West Bank settelement expansions, in 2006 and said the settlements are "ipso facto in violation of international law"
Why should Israel be allowed to break international law and enjoy our unconditional support while the elected government of the Palestinians, has to meet a series of hypocritical conditions first?

Hamas are a terrorist group, but were elected by the people of Palestine, and if Israel does not have to comply with any of the Three Conditions, before being allowed to negotiate, neither should Hamas.

Talking to these people is pretty pointless. They want the Jews out of the Middle East. Full stop. Israel and western powers need to work with moderate representatives of Palestinian opinion and freeze Hamas out of the equation.

I've found this comment from Alan S in 1993. Spooky!:

"Talking to these people is pretty pointless. They want the British out of Northern Ireland. Full stop. Britain and western powers need to work with moderate representatives of Irish opinion and freeze the IRA out of the equation."

One of the problems is that for many years there has been a strongly-bullied view within the Conservative Party that if you show anything less than total and unconditional love for Israel you are a Nazi, a Communist or both.

Curiously enough, an exactly similar attitude prevails in American political circles.

For once - and praise where praise is due - David Cameron seemed to start with the right intentions but, Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here.

One begins to wonder whether there is something in Tapestry's theories about international string-pulling behind the scenes.

Funny, funny 'A different view' but yours is a false comparison. The IRA had limited aims. Hamas has aims which we cannot begin to consider.

Conservative Friends of Israel as far as I can tell are not saying that we or Israel should not negotiate with Palestinians.
Indeed the Israeli Prime Minister is negotiating with the Palestinian President Mahamood Abbas. This is because he recognises the State of Israel and is willing to properly negotiate.

However, Hamas which are are terrorist and criminal organisation, do not recognise the State of Israel. Therefore, as a fellow state of the world and United Nations member, we should support the State of Israel against Hamas a terrorist organisation that does not accept Israel.

Indeed we should not negotiate with Hamas for the same reason that we should not negotiate with Al-Queda because they want to destroy us and deny our right to exist according to western liberal rules.

It is also interesting to note that Hamas far from being a peace loving organisation has this week, forcibly stopped peaceful demonstrations by its own citizens in the Gaza strip

"One begins to wonder whether there is something in Tapestry's theories about international string-pulling behind the scenes."

The eyes are well and truly-swivelling...nurse, the screens!

The House of Commons' Foreign Affairs Select Committee is not on the planet Earth, or perhaps they have been taking banned chemical substances, which are the only charitable excuses one can think of for their incredible naivety.
Hamas and Hizbollah are dedicated to the eradication of Israel and the imposition of sharia/caliphate. These people are radicalised and well versed in taking the west for a ride. The Lebanese government should have disarmed Hizbollah following the UN brokered '99 accord. They did not. Since '99, Hizbollah have grown, unfettered by the Lebanese, to act in the south as a dejure government. Once they decided to take on the Israeli's the response was inevitable. The Israeli's would use overwhelming force and destry any infrastructure that gives aid to the enemy. The Lebanese could not have been surprised at that response? unless they had their heads buried in the sands and naive.
The Middle East is one area we would do well to avoid. Leave it to St Tone, he has foot in mouth disease, and will achieve nothing but disillusion and hopefully a full range of ulcers.

"One begins to wonder whether there is something in Tapestry's theories about international string-pulling behind the scenes."

The eyes are well and truly-swivelling...nurse, the screens!

Care to give us the benefit of your alternative view, Powellite?

Or is your output limited to inanities as witless as your obviously tongue-in-cheek ID?

This is worth reading:


I assume that's by Douglas Murray. Poor Douglas has to be the worst advocate I've ever seen about anything.Even when I agree with him,he talks me out of it!
So young and so very angry!

Sorry just saw it's by somebody called Conway. My mistake.

But we should not have done a deal with the IRA. Apart from balkanising Northern Ireland and rewarding gangsters with government posts, it has sent a signal to all those who seek the same path to power. Just hang in there for twenty years of escalating savagery and you'll end up feted for your moderation on an index linked pension. It will also have undermined the morale of those who have to fight the terrorists on a day to day basis - the soldiers and the police. The whole Irish Peace Process was about as squalid as Munich 1938 and with far less practical justification. It is precisely because they had limited aims that the IRA might have been properly defeated. It is precisely because they have unlimited aims that we will be locked in combat with the Islamonazis for years to come. In neither case is the Chamberlain/Petain option justified, but the repugnant Blair, who took it, was applauded out of the house of Commons.

There can never be peace in the middle east. Islam's over-riding aim is to wipe Israel, Israelis and all Kuffar from the face of the earth.

Talk to Hamas and they'll see it as another sign of the West's weakness and will simply act as encouragement for more and more aggression and attacks.

There can be no peace until there is either no jews / kuffars, or no muslims.

As Winston Churchill said, "There can never be peace in the world whilst Mohammedism holds sway over the hearts of so many".

So let's wipe them out Stephen Tolkinghome Is that your bright idea for the day?

What's there to talk about?

I've never really bought into the idea that somehow the UK can create a peaceful Middle East.

"So let's wipe them out Stephen Tolkinghome Is that your bright idea for the day?"

I suppose that would be the conclusion that you'd reach. However, I'm simply saying that Britain should not engage Hamas in talks, as it would be seen as a sign of weakness - from which they'll take encouragement.

There will always be eternal war with Islam, whilst opposition views and religions remain. Being one who likes to think for myself, I don't welcome the tenets of Islam at all - being one of central orthodoxy, where only one view prevails. Clearly you have no such scruples.

I've said before that I will never understand why so many (mainly right-wing) Tories consider worship of Israel to be a sine qua non.

Israel owes a very great deal to us and we owe nothing to them. Most British servicemen who experienced the realities of the Palestine mandate - Irgun and the Stern Gang - would almost certainly agree.

Having said that, my instinctive sympathy for the native Palestinians is tempered by the realisation that in the so-called Islamofascists we are facing a foe even more ruthless and evil than the Nazis.

The Nazis may have murdered more human beings than Al Quaeda, but they at least had the 'decency' to try and keep their crimes secret. As a rule they were not into suicide bombings, either.

It looks as if, in the final battle for survival against Islamofascism, we are likely to be fighting alongside the Israelis. By we I mean the English and perhaps the Welsh - not the totally PC Europeans and the tartan PC quislings north of the border.

Time to toughen up in readiness.

You are absolutely right. You mention that "most of the former British servicemen who experienced the reality of the palestinian mandate" would agree that we owe Israel nothing.
I agree we must support Israel, as a democracy is a precious thing in that region, but i happen to personally know some of the veteran British servicemen who were in the Jerusalem units in 1947 and remember the Stern Gang, the Irgun and the other jewish terrorist organisations.
Does anyone on here realise the Zionist terror gangs, in addition to murdering and driving out Arabs, murdered British soldiers and civilians in numerous attacks including the King David Hotel Bombing?.
Israel knows all about committing terrorism!

The Conservative Party should take a balanced approach. If Hamas have to recognise Israel, as a starting position to negotiate, then Israel has to immediately recognise an independent Palestinian state (numerous israeli Prime Ministers have refused to accept the notion of a Palestinian state)and stop breaking international law by building illegal settlements on legally-defined Palestinian land.
That will be the day!

TradstionalTory where you are wrong is the comparison of the Palestinians with the Nazis and the false connection you make between their struggle and the vague term "Islamofascism".
Any half-decent Middle East analyst will tell you that extremism among the native Palestinians has been allowed to flourish,due to the brutal injustices they have suffered ever since they were evicted,along with their British protectors, from their homes.

If Israel stopped expanding the settlements and gave the Palestinian people justice and freedom (and no Camp David was not a real offer of a state you can all read Schlomo Ben Aimi, the Israeli negotiator who has admitted Barak never offered Arafat anything bordering on what the UN resolutions require) and gave back the arable land and water acquifers the settlers have stolen, we would see a different region.
Invade Iraq and Afganistan all you want, without justice for the Palestinians we will never have even a remote chance of peace.

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