Saturday, June 09, 2007


Dear Friends,


On June 6, Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas announced a last-minute cancellation of the next day's meeting with Ehud Olmert.  In a confidence building measure, supposed to bolster Abbas' prestige in this very 'face conscious' Middle East, Olmert was going to take a significant risk to his personal safety and hold the discussions on Palestinian territory – in the biblical town of Jericho.


The meeting was cancelled by Abbas because – depending on who you believe – the civil war in the Palestinian territories meant that Abbas would not get enough political mileage (Israel's version), or (according to the Palestinians) because Israel still won't release tax money to the Palestinians without proper safeguards to make sure it doesn't finance the murder of more Israelis.  Either way, the diplomatic walls aren't tumbling down.


Refusal to meet Olmert did not, however, stop new Palestinian demands. On the day of the cancelled meeting, Abbas' troops asked Israel to open the borders, allowing Fatah to breach its signed agreements and import all sorts of illegal light weapons, tanks and rockets, so that they can rearm in their civil war against Hamas.  Israeli reluctance is influenced by speculation as to how long it will take until the weapons are once again turned against Jewish civilians.


Ironically, the Fatah leadership of Arafat and then Abbas used internationally financed budgets to fund and encourage large-scale arms smuggling through the desert, via the sea, and by digging a myriad of underground tunnels. Nourishing the murder of Israeli civilians, Palestinian security forces were ordered at the time to turn a blind eye when Hamas, other radical Islamic terrorists and various gangs joined in.  Hamas were just better at it, and eventually took control of the smuggling operations. And now Abbas finds himself out gunned.


And for those who wonder what the story of the three bears has to do with the chaos in Gaza?  Well, the Hebrew version of the idiom "You made your bed, now you'll have to lie in it" is "You cooked the porridge, you have to eat it".


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