A New York Post editorial (thanks to WriterMom) skewers the Bush Administration’s fantasy-based policymaking regarding Fatah:
July 17, 2007 — Yet again, the United States, Western Europe and Israel are putting all their diplomatic eggs in the basket of a Palestinian leadership they consider moderate, in a bid to move the Middle East peace process forward.
But is there any reason to believe Mahmoud Abbas can succeed – or that he even wants to?
President Bush yesterday laid out a series of incentives aimed at propping up Abbas’ Fatah-led government, which last month lost control of Gaza to the terrorists of Hamas in a violent confrontation.
Bush’s goodies include $190 million in direct U.S. assistance, $228 million in loans and $80 million in U.S. aid to bolster the Palestinian security services.
He also announced a summit conference this fall among supporters of a two-state solution, bolstered the idea of an eventual Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and called on world leaders to “provide decisive support for Palestinian leaders working for peace.”
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert joined in, announcing the release of Palestinian prisoners, agreeing to stop hunting down 200 Abbas-affiliated terrorists and allowing the mastermind of the 1974 Ma’alot school massacre to attend a key political meeting in the West Bank.
It’s a dramatic show of support – but can Abbas deliver? Or are the U.S. and Israel – under international pressure to jump-start the diplomatic stalemate, and fearful of further Hamas gains in the Palestinian-controlled territories – propping up a paper tiger?
Read it all.