26 June 2007

Israel and the dictators gang up on Hamas while Tony rides to the rescue

So Egypt's president, Hosni Mubarek, invites Jordan's King Abdullah and Israel's Ehud Olmert to join him in a summit with the now autocratic leader of the Palestine Authority, Mahmoud Abbas.

All are delighted, of course, with Abbas ridding the
Palestine Authority of its democratically-elected Hamas government. Israel fears Hamas because it won't submit to their design for the region. Abdullah and Mubarek fear Hamas because it is prepared to take the democratic route to government and dictators fear nothing more than democracy. Both Egypt and Jordan have nascent movements associated with Hamas, and the dictators no doubt would like to strangle them in the cradle.

Meanwhile, Western powers cheer the process on, all their talk of wanting democracy in Palestine, or indeed in the Middle East, now revealed as hypocrisy.

What mischief this all is. The possibility of achieving peace in the Levant without including a force as powerful and popular as Hamas in the process is remote, while d
ealing for peace with the hopeless Abbas and his corrupt Fatah is futile.

But will the appointment of Tony Blair as envoy for the "quartet" turn things around? One thing he has going for him is the
recognition from his experience in Ireland that all parties, even those you like to call terrorists, have to be brought to the table. But can he convince Israel and the United States to sit at the table with Hamas? As Bush's poodle, it seems unlikely he can convince the president of anything. Furthermore, he has thoroughly discredited himself in the Middle East with his contribution to the catastrophe in Iraq, The prospects are not good.

The Palestinian people, it seems, their freely elected government crushed by forces greater than themselves, have a lot of suffering to do yet.

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