Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Actually, it's such a relief he came out and said that. This will make it so much easier now for Ehud Olmert to go ahead with the plan to send a delegation from the Nahariya Rotory Club to the talks, instead of having to roll Shimon Peres out there yet one more time.
Asked by Reuters if the new administration would negotiate with the Jewish state, Haniyeh said: 'No. Negotiations have to do with the PLO and not with the government.'
Haniyeh, who is likely to head the new government, has previously said he would not object to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas negotiating with Israel. A spokesman for the current Hamas government reiterated that position earlier on Tuesday.
It would have been so embarrassing for the Palestinian Prime Minister to have actually sent a group of Hamas (hopefully unarmed) negotiators out there, ready to make real concessions on issues like Israel's right to spell its name with the 'a' before the 'e', when the other side was only going to send out a powerless token entity incapable of speaking on behalf of any national authority willing and able to deliver on its promises.
Imagine if Haniyeh's guys actually conceded Israel could be allowed to exist for, oh, say another 2 years, and then had that concrete concession met by a promise to discuss it after dessert and speeches at the next year's Rotary awards banquet, presuming a quorum could still be assembled after the bar was closed. Perhaps the Rotarians could then have declared Haniyeh an honory member of the club and granted him a red felt fez for his magnanimity, assuming he doesn't already own one.
Yeah, that would have been really, really embarrassing. I'd hate to see any prime minister do anything that stupid.