The contradiction is summed up in a surreal speech by Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, who denounces Hamas as dangerous fanatics and vows that there will be "no dialogue with murderers." If the West had adopted that policy, Abbas would have spent the last few decades in prison, not as a recipient of our aid.
In his 2004 presidential campaign, John Kerry came up with the awful idea of appointing an "ambassador to the peace process." Now that the "peace process" has utterly collapsed (for the third or fourth time), President Bush seems determined to resurrect Kerry's bad idea by appointing Tony Blair as a special emissary for negotiations to create a Palestinian state.
Blair has been courageous in supporting the Iraq war at great cost to his political standing in Britain. But he has also prompted the US to make many compromises and concessions—and the Palestinian issue is one on which he is not particularly strong.
But to remind us that things could still be much worse, along comes leftist hero Jimmy Carter to demand that the West support Hamas. This call to support a terrorist organization last seen executing its political opponents in the street was made while Carter was attending—get this—a conference of "human rights officials."
"Gaza Strip Holds Its Breath," Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times, June 22 By hand and donkey cart, young men removed the old Palestinian order in the Gaza Strip, one floor tile at a time.
Sledgehammers have left just the shell of the home of Mohammed Dahlan, the strongman here before Hamas fighters routed his Fatah movement in street battles last week….
Hamas, the Islamic militant movement formed in 1988 and which won Palestinian parliamentary elections last year, is now solely in command of the impoverished coastal strip. Bearded men with assault rifles and wearing the blue camouflage uniforms of Hamas' Executive Force patrol in pickups that used to belong to Fatah….
Residents have long described the coastal enclave as a big prison. Now its borders with Israel and Egypt are sealed….
The stock in the dairy cooler in Ahed Moshtaha's supermarket in Gaza City is running low and he's down to his last few cartons of cigarettes.
The store has plenty of sugar, cooking oil, detergent and crackers, but that provides little comfort in the face of what is now a deeply uncertain future. "These days we sell and we don't buy," Moshtaha said. He pointed to a spiral notebook on the counter—the list of sales made on credit. "We sell and we don't get any cash."
Moshtaha said he was glad to see Fatah ousted because of its reputation for corruption. But he is not happy about Gaza's new masters. "I'm not Fatah and I'm not Hamas," he said. "But we are the ones who are always stuck between the two sides."
Asked about the future of Gaza, Moshtaha sighed heavily. "It's a big grave," he said. "And we are living inside it."