Gaza upheaval gives rise to simplistic view of Palestinian society by Susie Becher
While Mahmoud Abbas was watching his followers being paraded through the streets of Gaza in their underwear with their hands above their heads, or being shot dead on live television, Prime Minister Olmert’s vision suddenly cleared: Eureka! There is a partner, an able partner, a worthy partner!
Abbas, who was compelled to resign his post as prime minister of the Palestinian Authority in 2003 over Israel’s unwillingness to cooperate with him on the implementation of the Road Map and who later assumed the presidency only to be met by the same cold shoulder and disregard, has suddenly become the can-do man, the go-to guy. …
Yes, Israel must negotiate with Abbas and must do so quickly. It should take advantage of the good offices of the Arab League to help shepherd the talks and infuse them with a regional dimension. But the talks must not be limited to the process, to confidence-building measures, to withheld taxes and interim borders. This is the time to discuss the final status: Everything on the table, until white smoke rises.
At the same time, it should be remembered that Hamas, by signing the Mecca Accord that gave birth to the short-lived Palestinian national unity government, endorsed Abbas’ right to conduct such negotiations, indicating that it, too, can be a partner. Perhaps by proxy, but a partner nonetheless.
A Hamas spokesman reiterated on Friday that the movement’s goal is the establishment of an independent state along the 1967 borders. This message must not fall on deaf ears. If a peace agreement is reached, it will only hold if it serves as a foundation for reuniting the Palestinian people in a national homeland that encompasses both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Abbas must conduct the negotiations in his capacity as the head of the PLO, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people – all the Palestinian people.
Susie Becher is a member of the national executive of the Meretz-Yachad Party. Click here for entire article at Ynetnews.