Mecca Accord Means More Attacks On Israel
The initial reporting of the Fatah-Hamas unity government agreement reached through the Mecca Accord brokered by Suadi Arabia included speculation of the easing or elimination of the economic embargo on the Palestinian government and its elected Hamas majority. The International Herald Tribune headline Friday however read EU and U.S. are cautious over Palastinian deal." As well they should be.
Nothing that brought about the economic embargo has changed. The economic aid freeze required that Hamas recognize Israel's right to exist and renounce terrorism and end the practice. Hamas affirmed that it still refuses to recognize Israel and that "Our battle with the Israeli enemy is still on." Hamas' leader in the Jebaliya camp in Gaza added, "We will be the spearhead of jihad ... to defend Palestine and Arab and Muslim nations."
Simply because Hamas and Fatah have apparently agreed to stop killing each other for the moment in the Palestinian Territories does not mean that any should reconsider the ongoing economic embargo. It does, however, look to translate into an ire directed outward against Israel rather than inward between the two Palestinian groups.
However, the development does offer the opportunity to criticize American policy - or more to the point, Bush policy - in the Middle East. Consider an editorial from the Washington Post that starts out reasonable and cautious, but in the end cannot resist lashing at American policy.
Unable to embrace the Palestinian accord but reluctant to offend a Saudi ally it has been counting on for help against Iran, the Bush administration adopted an awkward wait-and-see position. As events unfold in the coming days, it will watch from the sidelines, to which it has been relegated by its own ineptitude.
Of course we should wait-and-see. What would the Post's editorial board have America do? This represents a commonly held American view that the United States can and should impose itself as the solution. This is a wholly arrogant view from afar and ironically displays the 'hubris' so often attached to the current administration.
In a Washington Times' Saturday report, Joshua Mitnik wrote that there would be no peace for Israel in the Mecca Accord. Fathi Hamad of Hamas said that he "urged militant groups to resume attacks on Israel and denied that Hamas would respect past peace deals with the Jewish state."
This makes it unmistakable that the requirements set for the lifting of economic freezes have not only been left unmet, Hamas is clearly preparing for the continued fight with Israel.
Hamas and Fatah have agree to stop killing each other. This does not bode well for Israel in the short term, because the infighting between the two factions can now be once again directed outward in attacks on Israel. Israel's enemies have just strengthened themselves.