Sunday, June 17, 2007

Who Could Have Imagined?

It's back to square one in the Israel-Palestine saga. The dissolution of the Palestinian "Unity Government" and the internal civil war between Fatah and Hamas which provoked that dissolution was not all that surprising, given the Israeli and US decision to force Hamas out of power no matter what the cost. An article in today's NY Times looks at the cynical approach which is still in play.

With the two Palestinian territories increasingly isolated from each other by a week of brutal warfare between rival factions, Israel and the United States seem agreed on a policy to treat them as separate entities to support Fatah in the West Bank and squeeze Hamas in the Gaza Strip. ...

As Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, who arrives in the United States on Sunday to meet with American officials, said, a Fatah government, shorn of Hamas, “can be a new opening.”

After the failure of the Palestinian unity government, Mr. Olmert said in an interview with The New York Times, “I suggest we look at things in a much more realistic manner and with less self-deceit.”
[Emphasis added]

Prime Minister Olmert's comments reach beyond the disingenuous to the mendacious when he talk about "self-deceit." The policy of the US and Israel since Hamas scored its stunning electoral victory was to deceive the rest of the world. Instead of according Hamas a seat at the table so that the organization would actually have to learn the art of governing instead of blowing things up, the two countries decided to squeeze Hamas out by depriving the Palestinian government of the money it needed to effectively govern both the West Bank and Gaza.

The problem with the plan is that it not only didn't work, it also didn't deceive the rest of the world as noted in a June 14, 2007 editorial in France's Le Monde (in translation at Watching America).

Bitter and disenchanted is how Alvaro de Soto describes himself, in a report written at the conclusion of a two-year mission as the U.N.'s special Middle East envoy - a report that was to remain confidential. It is an overwhelming look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Extremely severe in its conclusions, the draft is a stunning indictment of a diplomatic failure. And while not sparing Europe or the U.N., it points to the Bush Administration as bearing the heaviest responsibility for its backing of an Israeli policy that has lead to a dead end. It was a policy that sought - even encouraged - the inter-Palestinian violence that today has resulted in a violent offensive by the Islamists of Hamas to take control of the Gaza strip. ...

This American obstinacy precipitated the failure of the Palestinian government of national unity and ruined the global peace effort launched by Saudi diplomacy, which envisaged an across-the-board normalization of relations between the Arab countries and Israel in exchange for the creation of a Palestinian state on the basis of its 1967 borders.

Mr. de Soto estimated that hereon in, it will be increasingly difficult if not "impossible" to create a Palestinian state.
[Emphasis added]

Secretary of State Rice can make dozens of trips to the Middle East, but until this cynical policy is changed, nothing she can do or say will bring about a resolution of the Palestinian issue, which means that there will be no stability in the Middle East. Apparently, that is just what this administration wants.

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Anonymous WDRussell said...

George says that it is important for people to have the right to vote. Unless they vote for a party George doesn't like. Then another civil war breaks out and he pretends like it doesn't happen.
For Condi, they could send a life size cutout for people to have a photo-op with, that is all she does. Just like the ones they have at the carnival.

7:59 AM  

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