Sunday, November 28, 2004

Hopeful words from Abbas in Cairo

"Abbas, who was in Cairo with Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and interim Palestinian Authority Chairman Rauhi Fattouh, spoke to reporters after meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and other officials. Abbas said the talks with Mubarak and other officials focused on security in the territories, the Palestinian community, democracy and the election. Abbas also spoke Sunday about reining in various Palestinian organizations, saying the PA wants only its own security forces to be authorized to carry weapons, Israel Radio reported. 'We want only one legally armed Palestinian force,' the radio quoted Abbas as saying. Abbas has admitted, however, that the Palestinian Authority is not currently prepared to take security responsibility following an Israeli pullout. He said Egypt and the Palestinians would carry out previous agreements on security and training."

If Abbas is elected and does as he says - disarms the miltias and Jihadoterrorists - then there is hope. If he does not - then statehood is a sham.

As Shimon Peres said - some years ago, at the start of this 2nd Intifada (paraphrasing): "Israel is a state and only the state has an army. The parties do not have their own armies or militias; Labor has no army; Shinui has no army. Only Israel has an army. This is true of all states; no state allows the parties to be armed and independent of the elected goverment. The same must be true of a new state of Palestine; it is the bare minimum."

If and when he is elected: This will be the first test for Abbas.

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