Gallery of art and thoughts

The cartoons and contemplations of a twentysomething copy editor.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Difficult times in Israel

Less than a week after the election of Mahmoud Abbas as the new leader of the Palestinians, troubles have already arisen. Two attacks in the Gaza Strip have claimed the lives of six Israelis. The attacks were carried out by the al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of the Fatah movement of the Palestinian Authority. Al-Aksa claimed the attacks were made in response to the assassination of one of their leaders.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has severed relations with Abbas as a result of the attacks. While it is understandable that he would do so, Sharon would have done better had he kept his goal of meeting with Abbas. Breaking off ties shows militants that they can disrupt the peace process through violence.

For too long, the Palestinians were led by Yasir Arafat, a man who rejected or undermined every peace proposal dangled his way. Abbas does not seem like much of an alternative -- his doctoral thesis stated that the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust was less than one million, and claimed that the reason for the generally accepted figure of six million was due to a Zionist conspiracy. However, Abbas did show a modicum of resolve when he resigned his position as prime minister in 2003 following differences with Arafat. Perhaps Abbas will prove just as intractable a foe as Arafat once was, but given that he has just assumed his new position, Israelis should give him more of a chance.


Post a Comment

<< Home