Not really a condemnation

01.14.03

More Palestinian voices speak out against suicide bombings . . . sort of.

The headlines are jumping all over the fact that the Palestinians engaged in a London conference via video hookup denounced the terror attacks. However, a cursory glance at the wording used reveals another angle:

“The suicide bombings will not bring us peace, and confiscating of our liberty will not bring you security,” Palestinian Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo said. “Let us together reject extremism in all its forms. Let us together choose the path of peaceful negotiations.”

He said his statement was addressed to the Israeli public.

This is the classic Palestinian position. It’s been Arafat’s official position all along. Pay lip service to condemning suicide bomb attacks, but then redirect the finger at Israel with language like “extremism in all its forms” or the now-infamous “cycle of violence”.

The above statement wasn’t really a condemnation of terrorism; it was another chance to attack Israel. Exercising superhuman restraint, Israel didn’t retaliate militarily to the cold-blooded murder of 23 civilians in Tel Aviv last week; instead, it imposed such mild sanctions as travel bans. But apparently even that is too much for the Palestinians, who evidently would like to get away with terrorism scot-free.

Israel, understandably, is skeptical about the aims of this “peace conference” in the first place:

In Israel, Zalman Shoval, an adviser to Sharon, said: “The present terrorist-promoting (Palestinian) leadership is not a peace partner, and that is part of the reason why we didn’t let these so-called delegates go to London for this conference, because we think it would just be another charade.”

So far, it seems to be living up to that prediction.

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