International policies and in particular EU and US policies towards Hamas and Hizbollah have had multiple and interrelated effects over the last two years. Most visibly, Western policies have had an impact on the two movements themselves, on the domestic governance systems in Palestine and Lebanon, and on the relations between Hamas and Hizbollah and their respective domestic political rivals. In turn, they have also had ramifications on the conflicts between Israel and Palestine/Lebanon, and on the mediating roles of the international community. The balance sheet is far from positive. This Policy Brief gives a comparative analysis of the influence of Western policies on key domestic and international dimensions of the Middle Eastern conundrum. It argues that despite their declared aims, Western policies have often hampered the quest for international peace, democracy and good governance, as well as inter- and intra-state reconciliation.