What Difference Does It Make?

What Difference Does It Make? All the terrorist groups in the ‘disputed territories’ are getting together to try to come to some consensus about “why they are fighting, what they need to end the conflict and whether suicide bombings are a legitimate weapon.”

Theoretically, this could be a good thing because if all of the groups were to decide on a REASONABLE position, it would mean Israel could negotiate with the Palestinian government on terms for peace without worrying about one or two of the groups deliberately trying to scuttle the process. However, if the groups are talking about coming up with a mutual bargaining position today, it could mean that they’ll also be cooperating in order to become more efficient at killing Israelis and Americans tomorrow. Furthermore, as you’ll see from the following quote, the situation has not changed significantly from the one I described in my May editorial, There Isn’t Going To Be A Happy Ending To The Conflict In The Middle East

“The biggest obstacle to a cease-fire is the very real fear of civil war” if Arafat buckles to Israeli and U.S. pressure and agrees to arrest Palestinian militants, especially Hamas members, said Eyad Sarraj, a Palestinian psychiatrist and a leading civil rights activist and political analyst in Gaza City.

Cracking down on Hamas, which has launched more suicide bombings against Israelis than any other group — has been a key demand of Israel and the United States, which see it as a test of Arafat’s sincerity in seeking to curb Palestinian terrorism.

“Collectively, the Palestinian leadership has lost its credibility with the Palestinian people, and Arafat is having serious difficulty trying to control things. . . . He’s finished,” Sarraj said. “Hamas reflects the basic feeling of every Palestinian that we cannot surrender without a feeling of hope and dignity.”

Peace is still beyond the horizon in this conflict and probably will be for a long, long, time…

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