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MS-NBC is flashing a banner announcing that Mahmoud Abbas has stated that the new unity government of the Palestinian Authority will explicitly recognize Israel. So far, no wire service has a story, but I will keep my eyes open for fresh reporting on this subject.
Stand by! ....
Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas told the UN General Assembly that any new Palestinian government would recognise Israel.
"I would like to reaffirm that any future Palestinian government will commit to all the agreements that the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority have committed to," he said in a speech to the assembly.
Abbas referred in particular to letters exchanged by Palestinian and Israeli leaders, Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin, in 1993 which contained mutual recognition of the two sides.
Abbas, who has been negotiating with the Hamas group over a national unity government, said: "These two letters contain a reciprocal recognition between the PLO and Israel, reject violence and call for negotiations to reach a permanent settlement with the creation of an independent Palestinian state next to Israel."
This will be a neat trick. Hamas has repeatedly stated in the last few months that it will not recognize Israel, and since they hold a majority of seats in the Palestinian assembly, Abbas' ability to deliver on this promise appears problematic at best.
One has to assume that Abbas hammered that deal out during the negotiations. If so, then Hamas won't kill him when he returns. However, the rank and file of Hamas may start wondering whether to turn on its own leadership, especially those who have lost relatives foolish enough to conduct suicide-bombing missions. And Hamas is not the only problem. Islamic Jihad has never joined in Palestinian self-government, preferring to remain unsullied by the stench of compromise and negotiation. Other smaller groups with less formal leadership will present Abbas with even more difficulties in enforcing this new policy.
Of course, the cynics among us may remember past Palestinian cease-fires, and wonder if we're not seeing a higher-stakes version of the Palestinian triangle offense. If the jihadists continue attacking while Fatah and Hamas keep stalling on formal recognition, then we will know that they have just reworked the old playbook all over again.
Perhaps Abbas did get the rest of the Palestinians to recognize the folly of their intifadas, even if they balked at recognizing Israel for the past sixty years. That may have been the reason George Bush went out of his way to receive Abbas and call him a "man of peace" earlier this week, a statement that raised eyebrows around the nation, given Abbas' history. It would certainly provide a singular event in the long history of Palestinian futility and perhaps give the region its first chance for real peace in decades, if not centuries or millenia. We will have to see the Palestinians cease their terrorist activities before we can rely on their word.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Tracked on September 21, 2006 8:57 PM
» Breaking– Abbas: Palestinian National Unity Government will recognize Israel from Leaning Straight Up
Abbas: Unity government to recognize Israel UNITED NATIONS - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that the planned national unity government will recognize Israel and renounce violence, warning that failure to resolve the conflict woul... [Read More]
Tracked on September 22, 2006 12:07 AM
» Bill's Bites -- 2006.09.22 from Old War Dogs
The webmaster's blog-within-a-blog. Continuously updated, newest items at the top. Please click here to learn more about The Phoenix Project, then click here to see a selection of Old War Dogs merchandise. All sales proceeds go to support The Phoenix [Read More]
Tracked on September 22, 2006 1:51 AM
» Snowballs in Hell from white pebble
Seen first at Captains Quarters: Abbas: Unity government to recognize Israel I wonder how long this will last. Personally, I give it till morning. ... [Read More]
Tracked on September 23, 2006 11:11 AM
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