Writing in yesterday’s NY Times, Stephen Erlanger points out that Palestinians had good reason to welcome the Mecca deal, which will put at least a temporary halt to the utterly counterproductive fighting between those aligned with Hamas and Fatah that the US and Isr
He also notes that the agreement places the
Of course it remains a mystery how a country like
Another thing that keeps coming up in the coverage is the role of the Quartet. In Friday’s Time, for example, Elaine Shannon writes,
On its face, the agreement signed in Mecca between Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah party and Khaled Meshal of Hamas, falls far short of the principles of the international mediating group known as the Quartet, composed of the U.S., United Nations, European Union and Russia, that a unity government must recognize Isr
It’s an ‘international mediating group’. Presumably it mediates between those two warring countries,
The Economist, too, writes of ‘a requirement from the Quartet of foreign peacemakers’ – the requirement that Hamas recognize
To demand that Palestinians recognize "
And others have commented on the obvious danger of recognizing an
Erlanger goes on in the same vein about the agreement constituting
a challenge for the Bush administration, which, along with
And here it is starting to become apparent that it’s not just the Quartet setting impossible benchmarks for the PA.
Ha’aretz’s Aluf Benn and Avi Issacharoff went even further, reporting
It makes it look almost as if the Quartet, far from mediating between two warring sides, is actively taking one side and enforcing demands on the other.
Never at a loss for cynicism, the editorialists down at the NY Times said today,
Before Europe and the
Two points emerge from this. First and most obvious is that it’s the PA whose aid is being withheld. That is a few million dollars that support the basic infrastructure that allows Palestinians to live, largely through public sector employment. Withholding that aid is, as everybody has observed, holding the Palestinian people to ransom for exhibiting the chutzpah of electing the wrong party to the PA ‘government’. One of the things that goes unsaid is that the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza are cut off from each other and the outside world and have absolutely no way to survive without the withheld aid. Another is that nobody is withholding any of the billions of dollars the Isr
The other point – somebody has to say it – is that there are no agreements between
Anyway, they go on to speculate that the prospect of a bunch of Saudi aid
might help show Hamas the advantages of improved behavior. But
As if the Times were some kind of authority figure empowered to judge Hamas’s behaviour as if it were some naughty child sitting in the corner. As if they were unaware that Hamas had restrained its own militias from attacking Isr
Whether Hamas is prepared to take that crucial step is doubtful.
As if they didn’t realize that a PA attempt to disarm militias would launch a new civil war, the very pretext, indeed, that Isr
But credit where credit is due. The wise persons down the Times observe
Mr. Bush has wasted more than six years without coming up with a serious policy for reducing violence between
And of course, neither he nor his successor ever will, until the