Palestinian unity is excellent news even for Israel - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • 06.05.11 | 13:14 (IDT)

    The news is great for the Palestinians, and will remove an obstacle for some UN members who see the separate regimes in Gaza and West Bank as a problem for supporting an independent Palestinian state. But the news is also good for Israel: It has a partner for peace. One deal applies to all of Palestine. Hamas already said in the past that they will accept a peace deal with Israel if the Palestinians vote for it, and that is good. Israelis should also have a referendum so that peace, and its expected consequences, is viewed as legitimate by all. Netanyahu of course will seize this unity as a new excuse for not negotiating with Abbas, but he wouldn't negotiate with or without hamas, so it makes no difference. In the recent past, when Hamas won the PA 2006 elections and formed a national unity government, foreign countries dealt with Abbas and with cabinet ministers not associated with Hamas. The Olmert government (of Likud vintage) refused to deal even with Abbas himself: If a piece of the PA government is non-kosher, it is all treif (non-kosher). Netanyahoo is expected to behave similarly, but again, his game remains the same anyhow, only the excuses change. As far as Hamas' position about the interim cabinet not negotiating with Israel until the new elections, this does NOT apply to President Abbas, nor does it apply to the PLO, under which peace negotiations have been conducted. Abbas WANTS to negotiate, but Netanyahu does not, and now he will have a formal "treif" excuse.

    from the article: Clinton refuses to rule out talks with PA unity government
    First published 01:46 06.05.11 | Last updated 01:46 06.05.11
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