Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hamas/ Fatah Unity Talks Postponed?

The Beast's discussions on unifying itself have apparently met with a few snags..and I say apparently for good reason.

The BBC is reporting that the scheduled Fatah-Hamas unity talks between Hamas Politbureau chief Khalid Mesha'al and Fatah's Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo have been postponed.

"The meeting has been postponed until a new date is set in the coming days in order to assure the best atmosphere for the successful implementation of the reconciliation agreement," Fatah's Azzam al-Ahmed was quoted as telling AFP on Sunday.

Reportedly, one sticking point was the Hamas rejection of Fatah's Salam Fayyad as the new prime minister in a unity government.

That's strikes me as extremely improbable. Fayyad, who is American educated and speaks English is well liked in the West because he supposedly provides a level of 'transparency' in making sure that the 'Palestinian' leadership doesn't continue to steal most of the aid money they're getting from gullible Western donors.

That's precisely why he's hated by most of the Fatah Mafia chiefs, why's he's serving now in the 'Palestinian' government as an unelected prime minister and why he has no real power or constituency.

Hamas objecting to Fayyad strikes me as a ruse cooked up by Hamas and Fatah in order to allow the EU and US President Obama leeway to lean on Israel for further concessions.

The genocidal Hamas is still listed as a terrorist group by the US and the EU, and since anyone but Israel's worst foes can see the futility of Israel negotiating with a government allied with Hamas, the alliance of Fatah and Hamas remains one of the best arguments against resuming the farcical peace process. Even Abbas tacitly recognized this by attempting to finesse that Hamas-Fatah alliance and saying that it didn't matter, since Israel's negotiations were with Fatah anyway.

That didn't pass the smell test, but if the reconciliation is conveniently put on hold for awhile, that would probably be enough to justify US and EU pressure on Israel to resume negotiations. And the reconciliation could always be completed later, after the Israelis had already given up strategic concessions for nothing whatsoever.

On the positive side, the signs are good that the Israeli government isn't falling for this charade.

Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman warned European Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton that if the 'Palestinians' unilaterally declare a state at the UN in September, the Oslo Accords are null and void and the so-called peace process is over.

“A move like that will be a violation of all the agreements that were signed until today,” Lieberman said in a statement. “Israel will no longer be committed to the agreements signed with the Palestinians over the past 18 years.”

“In light of Abbas’s current stance, the chances for negotiations are zero. Abbas is not interested in an agreement,” the foreign minister added. “He wants conflict, because that is his personal interest, even though it is against the Palestinians’ interest, and many oppose him.

“Israel is prepared to renew negotiations. The ball is in the Palestinians’ court,” Lieberman concluded.

Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu reportedly gave Ashton the same message when they met in Jerusalem today.

Ashton had already met with the 'Palestinians', and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas urged her to get the EU to recognize a a Palestinian state along the pre-war June 4, 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital...exactly what US President Barack Obama said he supported in his notorious speech on the Middle East.

PLO Executive Committee member Saeb Erekat said Ashton told them that the 'Palestinian' demand would be discussed “inside the corridors of the EU.”

According to Erekat, they didn't hear from Ashton that she’s opposed to the UN move, “But we also didn’t hear from her that she supports the step. At least the dialogue remains open on this matter.”

Just as with Obama's stance of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, the 'Palestinians' can hardly afford to be less hardline than President Obama, and whatever premises for negotiations that might have existed are stalled because the 'Palestinians' are insisting that Israel give up all its bargaining chips and commit to those indefensible borders as a pre-condition before any negotiations start.

The supposed Fatah/Hamas suspension of unity talks should be looked at in this particular light, as a strategy to try and force Israel into negotiations based on those pre-conditions. But I doubt the Israelis are going to bite this time.

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