“The West should make sure it is not, once more, left stranded at the dock.”
The International Crises Group, with headquarters in Brussels, is “now generally recognised as the world’s leading independent, non-partisan, source of analysis and advice to governments, and intergovernmental bodies like the United Nations, European Union and World Bank, on the prevention and resolution of deadly conflict.”
Earlier today they released their Middle East Report, Light at the End of their Tunnels? Hamas & the Arab Uprisings. Here, in part, is what they had to say:
Hamas never has faced such large challenges and opportunities as presented by the Arab uprisings. It abandoned its headquarters in Damascus, at much cost to ties with its largest state supporter, Iran, while improving those with such U.S. allies as Egypt, Qatar and Turkey. Asked to pick sides in an escalating regional contest, it has sought to choose neither. Internal tensions are at new heights, centring on how to respond to regional changes in the short run. Leaders in the West Bank and exile tend to believe that with the rise to power of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in particular and the West’s rapprochement with Islamists in general, it is time for bolder steps toward Palestinian unity, thereby facilitating Hamas’s regional and wider international integration. The Gaza leadership by contrast is wary of large strategic steps amid a still uncertain regional future. These new dynamics – Islamists’ regional ascent; shifting U.S. and EU postures toward them; vacillation within their Palestinian offshoot – offer both Hamas and the West opportunities. But seizing them will take far greater pragmatism and realism than either has yet shown.
To read the report in its entirety, click here