Sunday, January 27, 2008

Putting the Tiger in Charge of the Cage

We have excerpts from two different articles relating to the amazing proposition of having the Ramallah half of the Palestinian Authority take over the Gaza crossings. We add some comments in brackets.

From Haaretz:

Barak: Israel considering letting PA handle Gaza crossings

By Ora Coren, Haaretz Correspondent

DAVOS - Israel could allow Gaza crossings to be opened under the security control of the Palestinian Authority, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said here Thursday.

"If the PA's security could be as effective as that of Jordan, Egypt, or even Syria, we would consider alleviating the situation [in the Gaza Strip] significantly," he said, adding: "We're not promising anything."

[Of course, if the Palestinian Authority hadn't smuggled in tons of weapons into Gaza before the Hamas coup, or had even minimally lived up to some of its commitments, the situation would never had reached its current status.]

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said this statement was a source of hope. "We must seriously consider Israel's security concerns. We are committed to non-violence and to solving the conflict by peaceful means," he said.

[Why, then, do Palestinian Authority newspapers, television and schools continue to incite against Israel? Why, then, does Fatah continue to engage in terrorism through its Al-Aksa Brigades and Tanzim subsidiaries?]

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni would not commit to completing negotiations with the Palestinians by the end of the year, when President George W. Bush's term in office comes to an end. She said the agreement is not connected to the present American administration.

"I don't like working to a timetable because it leads to frustration and violence," she said.

[She can say that again.]

Livni said both sides want to solve the conflict and it takes time to do so properly.

[Certainly Israel wants to end the conflict, but even the supposedly "moderate" Abu Mazen has yet to demonstrate the willingness to end the conflict on any terms that would not effectively mean the end of Israel.

Livni said that before implementing the agreement certain changes must be made. "At this stage it does not appear possible to complete the agreement and throw a key over the fence, hoping someone on the other side catches it."

"We need an effective government that can rule, a proper administration, something that could change the situation and accept the key not only in the West Bank but in Gaza," she said.

[In 1993, Israel bowed to international pressure and recognized the PLO as the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian Arabs. It's now clear that not only does the PLO not represent all the Palestinian Arabs, the Palestinian Arabs are inherently schizophrenic, with those living in Hamastan/Gaza having little in common with those living in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria. One may hope for one effective government in the Arab-controlled areas of the West Bank and Hamastan, but one may equally as effectively hope for the tooth fairy.]

From WAFA:

President Abbas: We are Ready to Take up Crossings to Ease Suffering of Our People

RAMALLAH, January 26, 2008 (WAFA - PLO news agency)-President Mahmoud Abbas confirmed that Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Palestinian and we will never give it up.

In a speech at a Palestinian National Conference on Jerusalem held Saturday in Ramallah, President said that the Jewish settlements, particularly what is built in Jerusalem, are illegal and we will never accept them.

"Whatever they do in Jerusalem and no matter what they do to change its structure, occupied Jerusalem will remain the capital of the state of Palestine and we will never give it up," he added.

[So much for any chance of any peace agreement with the supposedly "moderate" Abu Mazen. Jerusalem has never had much importance to either Arabs or Muslims, other when there are others around. While it was Israel's capital back in Biblical times, long before any of the ancestors of the present day Palestinian Arabs wandered by, it has never been the capital of the Palestinian Arabs. If they ever agree to peace with Israel, they may get some of the outlying areas of Jerusalem and call it their capital. But that's clearly not what Abbas is referring to.

Imagine the crescendo of criticism Israel would get if its prime minister said the equivalent, that all the Arab settlements in Jerusalem were illegal and Israel would never accept them.]

President accused Israel of seeking to change facts on the ground in East Jerusalem to preempt permanent status talks with Israel that include negotiations over the eastern section of the city occupied in 1967.

[The only proper issue to negotiate is the location of the Palestinian Arab embassy in Israel's capital.]

As for the crossings, President said we are ready to take up the crossings to ease the suffering of our people, calling on Israeli government to end the siege imposed on Gaza.

[What siege? Hundreds of thousands of the residents of Hamastan have crossed back and forth into Egypt in the last few days. This only highlights the always overlooked fact that Hamastan borders not only on Israel but on Egypt, which has again shown it is perfectly willing to ignore any agreements it makes with Israel.

Hamastan is effectively at war with Israel, relieving Israel of any responsibility it might have had. Let Egypt help Hamastan.]

"The long Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip," said Abbas, "has caused a popular explosion. When you deny the people fuel, medicine and all their basic needs, what should they do? The people have no choice but to explode."

[See above. Also note that Israel did not deny any of those items to Hamastan, even continuing to supply electric power to Gaza when it temporarily suspended the transfer of other items. Anything Israel does to prevent the transfer of goods to Hamastan would be useless unless Egypt was doing the same. Why isn't Abu Mazen whining about Egypt?]

President confirmed that the Islamic movement was part of the Palestinian people, demanding that Hamas give up control of crossing points into Gaza Strip to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) as well as give up its control of salient entirely.

[Had Mahmoud Abbas adhered to his commitments under prior agreements to Israel, or even not refused to adhere to any of his commitments under the roadmap, Hamas would never have taken over the Gaza Strip.

It's amazing that even the chairman of the Palestinian Authority continues to be blind to the reality that Israel is the only party in the Middle East that has ever worked to improve the lot of the Palestinian Arabs.]

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