Thursday, May 07, 2009

Blowing Smoke

The Jerusalem Post is reporting that the Palestinian Authority will be forming a new ‘unity’ government - less Hamas.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas plans to ask his prime minister within the coming week to form a new government without Hamas, a senior aide said Thursday. Months of power-sharing talks between Fatah and Hamas have gone nowhere. "If they continue like this, it could last for years," aide Yasser Abed Rabbo said.

Formation of a new government enjoys "external support," he added, referring to Egypt, which has mediated the floundering power-sharing talks. There was no immediate comment from Egyptian officials. Abed Rabbo said the next round of Egyptian-brokered contacts would take place on May 16 as planned, but Hamas shared his pessimism regarding their outcome. "There are no signals on the horizon of a power-sharing deal with Fatah," said Mahmoud Ramahi, a Hamas leader.

Fatah insists that Hamas yield to international demands to recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept existing agreements between Israel and the Palestinians, "which the movement will not accept under any condition," Ramahi said. But he cautioned that if Abbas forms a new government "that would undermine" the unity talks, he added.

Abbas ordered the formation of the current government in the West Bank after Hamas overran Gaza nearly two years ago, routing Fatah security forces and in effect creating dueling Palestinian governments. He claims authority over Gaza, too, but in practice has no influence there. The new government PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad will be asked to form will include old ministers and new, Abed Rabbo said.

Abbas’ mandate to govern expired in January and owing to a bit of high-flaunting legalistic shenanigans reminiscent of Arafat, he was able to extend his mandate until January of next year. And the new/old prime minister of the PA already resigned from his post this year. Go figure.

More importantly, despite the lectures from all and various US officials to Israel there can be no peace agreements, accords or even the creation of a Palestinian state without a single unified group representing the Palestinians. You can attempt to bully and create a Palestinian state in the West Bank but not only does Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip it is a force to be reckoned within the West Bank as well. Did I mention the extensive patronage Hamas just happens to enjoys courtesy of through the Hezbollah-Iran Axis?

You can try to go it ‘alone’ without Hamas but it will all come to naught while Hamas consolidates and builds up its arsenal in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in order to continue to destroy the Zionist entity next door. You can train and arm the Palestinian Authority to arrest and prosecute Hamas members within the West Bank, but in the end, all that will be established is just another tinpot repressive government in the Arab world. And good luck with that. By the way, did I mention rocket fire was launched against Israel courtesy of the Gaza Strip?

One more thing to ponder. Is there one rational reason why Israel should offer up as a lamb to the slaughter its security as the coinage to pay for US influence within the Arab and Muslim world?

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