Here's a political dilemma for you - how do you react when a terrorist group actively engages in democratic politics, and actually gains power? This is, of course, the challenge facing Bush, Blair, the EU and the UN after Hamas' election victory in Palestine last week. Regardless of what happens over the next few weeks and months, some strange politics is likely to take place.
Of course, what everyone really wants is for Hamas to take it's new political role to heart, renounce violence and undertake a political end to the violence in Palestine. This is not going to happen. But whilst Hamas remain an armed group, actively using violence to free their country, can they really be compatible with western democracy in an age which considers dealing with terrorists to be political anathema?
The fact is though, Hamas has been democratically elected to 80 of Palestine's 132 parliamentary seats on a UK-shaming turnout of 77%, in an election praised by the UN for its fairness - indeed they have also stated that where the election was restricted, it was because of Israeli intervention, rather than anything to do with the Palestinians.
It strikes me, therefore, slightly unfair to call sour grapes on the election results after what appears to be a perfectly legitimate election in Palestine. You open yourself up to a democratic way of thinking, you accept the fact that it may not bring to power exactly who you were looking for. Yes, Hamas now need to work inside of politics, and I'm sure that continued use of violence wont help that; but at the same time they represent the will of their own people, who want to believe that Hamas really can make a difference, and the west must respect that point of view. For the US, the UK and the EU to say they wont deal with Hamas is basically saying to the Palestinian people "we don't care what you think, you got it wrong" and that's only likely to plunge the peace process even deeper into turmoil than it is right now.
Unfortunately, I cannot see how this situation will ever work itself out; Israel will almost certainly refuse to have relations with Hamas, even if the rest of the world does give them a chance. And Hamas, although they may scale down their physical attacks on Israel, will continue to call for the end of the Israeli state - not too useful when you then need to negotiate with a state who's legitimacy you do not accept.
And at the blunt end of all this will be (as ever) the Palestinian people, their voice now heard in the political arena, but then subsequently ignored. Democracy it may be, but fair it definitely isn't.