Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
How did it come to be that the Palestinian Authority, which is required, by the “road map” it signed onto “unconditionally,” to dismantle Hamas and other specifically identified terrorist groups, has declared that it will not disarm them, agreeing instead to a ceasefire in place and also offering them a place in their government? Most recently, how can it possibly be that the Palestinian Authority now says that “road map” discussions – although the document does not call for it – cannot continue unless Israel now agrees to release all Palestinian prisoners, including members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Aksa Brigades and the rest?
How is one to take that startling news report the other day in The New York Times about Palestinian security officials in Gaza, now solemnly responsible for stemming attacks on Israelis
emanating from Gaza, releasing nine militants from a group known as the Popular Resistance Committees, who were being held on charges that they took part in firing grenades at Israeli settlements in Gaza in recent days. According to The Times, the security officials freed the men after they said they would abide by the faction’s decision to suspend attacks.
Sadly, when many were hoping against hope that Abu Mazen might mark a change, what we are witnessing is but the latest example of Palestinian duplicitousness. Once again, Palestinian
leaders are demonstrating that for them, agreements and commitments are merely words. Promise anything and then go about your business is apparently still the order of the day. To be sure their motives are not all that hard to figure out. While they claim an overriding need to avoid civil war, Mazen & Company are unwilling to move against Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al Aksa because to do so would be an acknowledgment that they were indeed terrorists and not “resistance fighters” and that the intifada was terror and not “resistance.” For the same reason, they are unwilling to abandon those of their comrades imprisoned in Israeli jails for having been complicit in all sorts of outrages or genuinely arrest terrorists linked to new ones.
But the bottom line is that the modus operandi of the Mazen “government” is to ignore terms of agreements and unilaterally set new ones. This hardly seems the stuff of progress. Yet we have yet to hear definitively from President Bush about this behavior of the Palestinian leader “he can do business with.”
There has been much talk about how the “road map” is “performance-based.” It should therefore be instructive to see what concrete steps the PA will take to disarm the terrorist groups and stop new terrorist acts – and how long they will persist in their prisoner release ploy. We will all know soon enough. And we trust that President Bush will take due note.
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