If we deal with the Muslim Brotherhood, we'll have to deal with Hamas

Others who have never formally recognized Israel include Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and a number of other countries.

Yet, you don’t hear U.S. officials declining to do business with any of them for that reason. On the contrary, the logic outlined by the senior Administration official in the Washington Post story seems to apply: Political parties and governments will be judged on their behavior rather than being asked to recognize Israel as a precondition for having relations with Washington.

Sensible approach, that, because the U.S. ought to be the friend that can build bridges between Israel and its Arab neighbors, and Hamas is an intractable part of the Palestinian body politic with which Israel will have to come to terms. But that pragmatic approach has thus far exempted Hamas. Still, a U.S. Administration that is prepared to recognize that the verdict of a democratic election in Egypt could force it to deal with the reality of the Muslim Brotherhood will, sooner or later, find itself pressed to extend the same principle to the Palestinians.