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Embracing Palestinians but not Hamas

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Try as they might not to talk of a peace deal, Israel and the Hamas government of the Palestinians can't ignore a world desire for them to find peace. With an apology to Shakespeare, some achieve peace and others have peace thrust upon them.

A small breakthrough occurred Tuesday that might help melt the cold-shouldered standoff between two elected governments that now don't even want each other to exist. They were advised by the US, Europe, Russia, and the UN that, despite a near-global financial boycott of the Hamas government, millions in aid money will soon flow directly to the Palestinian people to prevent a total breakdown of their society.

The real message: As much as Israel and Hamas believe they can ignore each other, the plight of the Palestinians - caused in part by each government's intransigence toward talking - should not and will not be ignored by the rest of the world.

Peace won't be achieved by the two sides' current strategy of unilateral and aggressive means, such as Israel's construction of a wall and Hamas's April 19 defense of suicide attacks on civilians.

The international community's attempt to deliver up to $100 million a month in aid will not be easy. Hamas and Israel have a stake in how such money may hinder or help each one's goal of undercutting the other.

The donors, too, cannot see aid go to bolster Hamas until it recognizes Israel and renounces terrorism, nor do they want to see the money lost to corruption, as happened under the oil-for-food program during the boycott of Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

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