Friday, February 09, 2007

This truce is an accord

The leaders of Hamas and Fatah have agreed to stop killing each other and to form a unity government. Sadly, the European Union, the self-proclaimed force for good in the world, was not involved. The agreement was signed in Mecca and was negotiated or forced on the participants, by the Saudi rulers.

Khalid Meshal, the exiled leader of Hamas spoke about the importance of the accord:
"These dark days will be completely gone," Mr. Meshal announced in signing the agreement. “Our Arabic, Islamic unity has brought us together, shining again.” He added that having signed the accord in the holy city lent it greater significance.
One wonders who caused all those dark days and why there is so little shining of the Arabic, Islamic unity.

However, the question of international relations between the Hamas-led government of Gaza and the rest of the world remains moot. Of the three conditions: recognizing Israel, ceasing terrorist activity and abiding by previous Palestinian-Israeli agreements only the last one has been written into the accord.

Any suggestion of Israel being recognized brings forth indignation and bad-tempered whining:
Hamas officials in Mecca bristled at the insistence of accepting Israel, insisting that any concessions they offered would not be enough.

"I wonder why the issue of recognizing Israel is the key to everything?" Ghazi Hamad, spokesman for the Hamas government, said earlier Thursday. "We are interested to end the siege but not at any cost."

He added: "We try to balance between our Palestinian national constraints and our opening up to the international community. Israel is not ready to deal with any Palestinian side unless the Palestinians deal with the Israeli conditions."
The condition of recognition is basic, one would have thought. Hamas remains wedded to its idea of total destruction for Israel.

The two factions celebrated the signing of the accord, which would not have been necessary had they not spent several weeks killing each other, by waving their own party flags, as the picture shows.

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