Monday, February 06, 2006

Abbas Wants to Deliver? 

Haaretz tells us that Abbas intends to continue negotiating with Israel:

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas told Israel recently that he will continue to be responsible for diplomatic contacts with Jerusalem despite Hamas' victory in the PA's parliamentary elections, and requested that Israel continue this dialogue rather than ignoring him as 'irrelevant.' Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert responded that in that case, Israel will continue talking with Abbas for the time being.
Of course, with his present mandate, the most he could deliver in response even to a complete Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders would be a promise not to resurrect Yasser Arafat's lifeless corpse.

Abbas' message was delivered in several conversations between his emissaries and Israeli officials in recent days. In these conversations, his envoys stressed that the PLO, and not the PA, is the body that has signed all previous agreements with Israel and is officially responsible for conducting diplomatic negotiations. Since Abbas is also chairman of the PLO, he intends to continue negotiating with Israel in this capacity.
Ah, now I see. The Oslo decade was about making peace with the PLO, not the Palestinian people. So Israel can cede all of the territory and financial concessions to the PLO, and then make a separate peace with Hamas and Islamic Jihad later. Presumably, Hamas will settle for taking just the rest of Israel, and Islamic Jihad, always late to the dance, will have to settle for catering the victory party.

No thanks. If Mr. Abbas can remuster the majority support he never knew what to do with in the first place, maybe there is something to talk about. Until then, I'd prefer to hold my breath waiting for Hamas to sue for peace.

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