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Hamas and Israel: Time for Reality Check?

"The unique predicament of the Palestinian Authority denies Israel and the Quartet the luxury of a benign neglect, wait-and-see approach to the Hamas government. Virtually all aspects of Palestinian economic life, trade, movement of persons and goods, and 40 per cent of government income (via the customs duties Israel collects) are at the whim of Israeli policy. Hamas' ideology, popularity and military aggression are unlikely to evaporate if they are forced from office by an Israeli-U.S.-led squeeze. The prospect of premeditated regime collapse may even be encouraging violence from Islamic Jihad and elements of Fatah. Certainly Fatah is unlikely to undertake its own much needed internal reform and regeneration process if it is expecting to be imminently re-anointed in an internationally blessed coup. British Foreign Secretary Straw and Italian Prime Minister-elect Prodi have both hinted that a policy rethink is needed."

Writing in Ha'aretz, Daniel Levy explores the way Israel needs to address the realities of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Levy also suggests that before the new PM goes off to Washington to be feted there, that a true policy of how the present impasse with the PA might be dealt should be the order of the day.

Read Levy's full and realistic assessment of the world which is Israel and its neighbour, the PA, here.


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"Denmark's democracy is in rude health while the political systems of Britain and France have some major shortcomings, according to a new Swiss-German study ranking the quality of democracy in 30 nations. Germany achieves a respectable score but falls short of a top 10 slot.

Germany is more democratic than France, Britain and even Switzerland, according to a study released last week by the University of Zurich and the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB), a research institute funded by the German government.

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