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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The sham of 'Palestinian unity'

Steven Erlanger, the New York Times Jerusalem correspondent, gets it right in Sunday's Week in Review:
Mr. Abbas’s magic plan has been to seek language that would allow Hamas to accept some conditions as part of a unity government, without making them the movement’s own.

The draft political plan, for example, would not explicitly recognize Israel’s right to exist. Instead, it accepted as a goal an old Arab League peace proposal, which Israel has rejected, and in language that didn’t mention Israel at all.

The program also tried to dodge the government’s role in international relations by confirming the primacy of the Palestine Liberation Organization, headed by Mr. Abbas, as the sole negotiating authority. The P.L.O. accepts previous agreements that it negotiated, so Mr. Abbas argues that Hamas’s refusal to do the same hardly matters. But if he should reach agreement with Israel, the deal’s fate would be at the mercy of the Palestinian legislature, which Hamas controls.

And while the program promised that Palestinians would “struggle to liberate their lands and end the occupation using all legitimate means,” the document negotiated with Hamas confirmed a “right” to resist Israeli occupation, including inside Israel proper. This is not “forswearing violence.”

As Mr. Abbas has labored, European diplomats talked about amending the three demands and starting with a cease-fire that would bring some cash support. The United States and Israel oppose any softening, however — particularly on Israel’s right to exist.
If even the New York Times recognizes that the proposed 'Palestinian unity' government doesn't fulfill any of the US or Israel's requirements, why is it still on the table as a solution to dealing with the Hamas-led 'Palestinian Authority'?


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