Mar 17 2007

Palestinian unity: What’s the difference?

Palestinians are celebrating a new unity government today between Hamas and Fatah. The compromise will hopefully stem a civil war and bring stability to the entire Middle East region.

But while Palestinians wasted nearly a year trying to agree on how to agree not to cut each other’s throats, the international sanctions regime instituted shortly after terror-group Hamas won the last election is still in place. The Palestinian people, already facing harsh conditions before the sanctions were imposed, naturally suffered the most.

The problem is that Israel and the international community never actually asked for a unity government.

They asked for the Palestinians democratically-elected representatives to indisputably renounce violent struggle. They were supposed to be putting a stop to rocket attacks and suicide bombings of Israeli civilian centers. That, they have not done (although the Israeli Defense Forces and the much-maligned security wall are mitigating those attacks with or without Palestinian cooperation).

And that’s why Canadians and others hoping that this part of the world is going to get better any time soon are going to be very disappointed.

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