Saturday, March 08, 2008

"Annapolis'" is not going anywhere, as Ignatius ruefully notes here.

See the March 3 post below.

Annapolis's Fading Hope

"Lurking behind this stalemate is the sinister hand of Hamas. It was Rice who insisted that this militant Islamic group be allowed to participate in the January 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, over strong protests from both Israelis and moderate Palestinians. Rice argued that the Islamic militancy represented by Hamas had to be given a political voice. But when Hamas won and predictably continued to reject Israel's right to exist, the United States had no coherent follow-up strategy. A new article in Vanity Fair says that Washington secretly egged on the rival Fatah movement to stage a coup in Gaza, but Hamas moved first with a countercoup that expelled Fatah security forces. The Hamas militants kept firing their rockets, goading the Israelis toward the reinvasion of Gaza they launched Feb. 27 that nearly scuttled the post-Annapolis peace process."

"What's needed is some sort of cease-fire between Hamas and Israel. But Washington and Jerusalem stoutly insist that they will never negotiate with a terrorist organization. Meanwhile, they are quietly blessing an Egyptian effort to broker just such a cease-fire package. I'm sorry, but that is a lame strategy -- letting others do secretly what you refuse to do openly."

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