Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh (on the left in the photo) said this weekend that he expects the PLO (i.e., Abbas and the Palestinian Authority) to annul its recognition of Israel’s right to exist. This would be appropriate punishment, apparently, for Israel’s unconscionable refusal to welcome Fatah’s unity deal with Hamas. One might argue that it’s a bit rich to expect Israel to cheer Fatah’s abdication of the peace process to ally with a body that remains hellbent on Israel’s total destruction, but those kinds of Talmudic distinctions are beside the point. “We are moving in a way that serves the interests of our people,” Haniyeh explained, with his characteristic pithy clarity. “We don’t care much about the Israeli positions.”
Ahmed Bahr, meanwhile, who is a senior Hamas official in Gaza, advised Abbas to jettison the American and Israeli financial lifelines that have been keeping the PA afloat. “The Israeli and American threats – especially those calling for cutting off financial aid – have no practical or political value,” Bahr said. Abbas has already indicated he’s receptive to the notion of forgoing the money for the sake of the unity deal, which should give you some idea how prostrate he is before Hamas. He must certainly be aware that about two-thirds of the PA’s GDP comes from foreign donations, so the abrupt loss of large chunks of said money will hasten Palestine’s already near-inevitable collapse into the status of a failed state.
It will be up to the members of the General Assembly to decide in the fall whether they wish to be a party to the creation of such a state, particularly one run by a group that hailed bin Laden as “a Muslim and Arab warrior” and condemned his assassination yesterday as “the continuation of the American oppression and shedding of blood of Muslims and Arabs.”
The more these guys talk, the safer I feel.