Sir Jeremy Greenstock is entitled to think, and to argue, that Hamas should not be treated as 'beyond the pale' when it comes to ceasefire and peace talks. As an experienced diplomat, however, he should seek to explain himself better than he does:
Hamas as a movement covers quite a range of views, some of them unacceptably angry and violent. Rockets from Gaza aimed at Israeli towns are pointless and must stop: no vehement protest, even over brutal occupation, should kill civilians on the other side.
But the more thoughtful strand of thinking in Hamas recognises the need for a political process and is ready to engage in the search for a durable solution to the conflict with Israel. It was open to further encouragement when Hamas was keeping the peace on its side in 2006 and 2008. Hamas, which in fact has no deep-rooted argument with the west or Christianity, no political alliance with Tehran or Hezbollah, no respect for al-Qaida and no "charter" for the destruction of Israel in its political programme, just wants the Israeli occupation to end.
What I'm interested in is 'no "charter" for the destruction of Israel in its political programme'. So how to deal with the fact that the Hamas Charter, with its reference to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, not only talks about killing Jews 'until [they] hide behind rocks and trees', but goes so far as to say:
Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors.
In addition, 'pointless' wouldn't be the word I'd choose for the rockets from Gaza 'aimed at Israeli towns', but that's by the way.