This AP report of today’s cease-fire declaration between Israel and the Palestinians is, like most reporting on the issue, optimistic.
Reading between the lines, though, we see the telling of an entirely different story. For example, the article claims that the “sides are moving quickly”. Let’s see what each side has done so far:
“Today, in my meeting with chairman Abbas, we agreed that all Palestinians will stop all acts of violence against all Israelis everywhere, and, at the same time, Israel will cease all its military activity against all Palestinians everywhere,” he said.
Yay, no more violence. But…
But the Palestinian militant group Hamas immediately called the deal into question. The group’s representative in Lebanon, Osama Hamdan, told The Associated Press it would not be bound by the Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire declarations.
So in other words, the terrorists will continue their attacks, and Abbas will continue Arafat’s tradition of claiming to have no control over them and nothing to do with them. Meanwhile, Israel will have tied its hands in being able to respond.
In signs the two sides are working quickly, Palestinian negotiator Hassan Abu Libdeh said the leaders agreed that 500 Palestinian prisoners would be freed immediately by Israel, to be followed by 400 more at a later stage.
So Israel is sending more terrorists back on the streets, freeing them to kill again. What are the Palestinians doing in return?
Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, a key parliamentary committee narrowly approved a bill that would allow Mr. Sharon to carry out his planned pullout from the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank in the summer. The vote passed 10-9 on a subject that has split the party and angered one of its main constituencies — settlers and their supporters.
Nope, that’s another move by Israel. A biggie. Still searching for a Palestinian concession here.
During the summit, Mr. Sharon also invited Mr. Abbas to visit him at his ranch in southern Israel and Abbas accepted, according to a senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official, Gideon Meir. Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath said that meeting would take place soon.
Nice gesture. Maybe they can go snorkeling together. But I’m not sure how this amounts to any kind of Palestinian concession.
Gissin said that as part of Israel’s halting of military operations, it would stop its controversial assassinations of wanted Palestinians, as long as the Palestinians kept militants under control.
Another concession from Israel. Where are the Palestinian confidence-building moves?
Whoops, we’ve reached the end of the article. I haven’t seen any yet.
I suppose it’s that people are so sick of war, they’re grasping at straws for hopes for peace, even though they’ve all been down this road before and they know full well where it leads. Sad, but not really unpredictable.