Sunday, June 19, 2005

Peres and Palestinian Pistols: Practice Makes Perfect 

At first I thought I'd surfed my way deep into some old Haaretz archive. The headline said, "Peres: Israel should give PA weapons to restore order." But it turns out, this is a current story:

Israel should transfer to the Palestinian Authority lights arms as part of a series of goodwill gestures Prime Minster Ariel Sharon intends to present PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in their meeting next week, Vice Premier Shimon Peres told Israel Radio on Friday.
You know, I've got a parent-teacher conference tonight, and I'd really like to build some goodwill with my daughter's teacher. I'm really tempted to bring along an AK47 and a year's supply of ammunition to help build up the trust between us. Maybe I should buy two AKs and keep the second one for the next time I have an appointment with a new doctor, as a sort of "getting-to-know-you" offering.

Seriously, that's crazy! We wouldn't hand weapons to a teacher, or a doctor, despite the fact that we already trust them with our children or even our very lives. But now an enemy, who has been killing our people for years, wants to meet with us. So to this person we'll hand over loaded weapons (and maps to the "shooting range," as it turns out, if you scroll to the bottom of the linked Haaretz article).

Seems kind of counter-intuitive to me, but then again, I'm not a political and diplomatic genius on a par with Shimon Peres, so if he thinks it's a good idea, it must at least be worth trying once, just to see if it works.

The Palestinians "are apparently facing many problems," Peres said. "The light arms are really needed in order to place law and order and to fight Hamas."
The Palestinians are indeed having some problems, Hamas not the least among them, but to say they are "facing" these problems is laughable. Abbas (and every other Palestinian leader who can reach a Reuters microphone) has already announced in the loudest possible Arabic that there is absolutely zero possibility of confronting Hamas or disarming them. They might have said something different in English of course, but it's not worthwhile to pay too close attention to . Better to listen to people who understand Arabic instead, like Michael Widlanski for instance.

Continuing listening to Shimon Peres:

The Vice Premier did not agree that the PA's weapons, which in the past were used against Israeli targets, threat (sic) Israel in a substantial way.
Wait a minute, you mean they were given weapons before, and used them against Israelis? I'm shocked. Speechless. I think even David Bowie would say that giving them more weapons now, to "face" their Hamas problem, is like putting out fire with gasoline. Good thing the threat is not substantial, like, say, a four-year intifada that kills Israelis and disrupts normal life and economic activities like tourism and nightlife. Nothing like that.

"Light arms do not pose a threat to Israel. The threat on Israel comes on the one hand from a war with tanks and airplanes and on the other hand from terrorists," Peres went on saying.

"It is not the guns that threaten us, but the suicide bombers," he said.
At least that explains why he isn't offering them confidence-building Semtex as well.
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