Hamas has sponsored at least 60 suicide bombings against Israelis -- so how can we continue to support Palestine's fledgling Government now it is dominated by a terrorist organisation?
Simple. We don't. Hamas have not renounce their Charter, which calls for the annihilation of Israel. In fact, they show no inclination to treat with Israel.
Hamas won fair and square.
To deny its legitimacy would be to trumpet that our support for the region becoming democratic comes with strings -- we play ball only if we like the winner.
On the other hand, Hamas has not yet grown far enough from its violent roots to be welcomed into the international community on trust alone. Israel is entitled to fear the worst until proved wrong.
Our dilemma is that we must not judge politics in Palestine by Western rules -- not if we are truly committed to ending the bloodshed.
Okay, Hamas did win. Nobody is disputing that. As for placing conditions on our dealings with them, what is wrong with that? Hamas have a proven record of terrorist activities, they have a vision for the future which involves wiping out another country (to start with, at least; I'm sure they won't stop there).
What guarantee is there that playing nice with Hamas will ensure peace?
As for judging MidEast politics by Western standards? Our governments have been doing that for far too long.
Dialogue and diplomacy have accomplished as good as nothing.
All of the aid in the world, a reported $1bn a year, has not helped the Palestinian people who need it the most. If it's not getting to where it should be, then why continue throwing good money after bad?
Perhaps if the powers-that-be in that part of the world didn't receive "aid" money then perhaps they might find other things to occupy themselves with rather than making war on their neighbours.
Maybe we should play politics by their rules; last man standing wins.