Saturday, June 07, 2003

An interesting piece in The Times on Hamas breaking off negotiations with Abbas. I was not aware that the statement he read at Aqaba was drafted by the US. That should never have been allowed. It was stupid. Would Gerry Adams read a statement drafted by Whitehall?
...if The British were still importing Presbyterians to Belfast by the truckload?

Two interesting points:

"Some of Mr. Abbas's allies were urging him to soften his condemnation of all Palestinian violence and restate his commitment to a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem. Mr. Abbas renounced violence "against the Israelis wherever they may be," but Palestinians overwhelmingly regard violence against Israeli soldiers and settlers as legitimate resistance to occupation."

"The Hamas men all criticized a statement by Mr. Abbas that "we do not ignore the suffering of the Jews throughout history."
Mr. Abu Shanab said that, while Jews had suffered in the Holocaust, Israelis were responsible for their own suffering because they displaced Palestinians, beginning with the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. "They caused all of this trouble," he said. "Why didn't he talk about the suffering of his people?"

and one quibble:
"Mr. Abbas wants to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, with its capital in Jerusalem, while Hamas wants to put an end to Israel."

If Hamas thought it could ever destroy Israel they wouldn't be negotiating to begin with. And even if it is only a ploy, the trick would still be to pull the rug out from them by gradually weakening their position in the Palestinian community. But US policy seems to be to increase the popularity of extremist groups across the board. I wonder if this is Karl Rove's idea?

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