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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

June 23, 2003

The mysterious Mideast unraveled

I like Paul Greenberg for writing like this, injecting what seems like a hint of humor while actually calling a spade a spade, a writing style which I think will help more average American readers who find this topic too complicated:
Despite its tough talk, Hamas is ready to agree to a formal cease-fire, with the emphasis on formal. If the Israelis will stop hunting down its leaders, Hamas and its various partners in terror - Islamic Jihad, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the Palestine Liberation Front, I lose count - will call off their suicide bombers, at least until they can regroup.

The Palestinian Authority, technically under the new management of Mahmoud Abbas, aka Abu Mazen, is trying to find a way to live with both Hamas and the Israelis, that is, with terror and the war against it. It can be done if (a) the Israelis will tacitly agree to become sitting ducks again, or (b) Hamas will stop being Hamas. So the search is on for some purely verbal formula that will bridge these two unbridgeable positions.
Greenberg's essay goes on to some interesting historical references to Menachem Begin's stubborn military group, the Irgun.