Monday, January 17, 2005


RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - New Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered security forces to prevent all attacks on Israel by militants, who have so far defied his calls for calm. But militants, some warning there could be clashes with Palestinian forces, ruled out any halt to attacks before an end to "Israeli aggression" in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israel described the measure as a "small step", but said Abbas must at least deploy forces to stop rocket fire from Gaza for the Jewish state to restore ties cut last week after an assault on a border crossing that killed six Israelis.
If the Palestinians want a state - and not a fiefdom ruled by competing gangs - then they must assert the rule of law and have only one miltia: the one run by the state. The archetypal dove Shimon Peres once pointed this out: the Labour Party and the Lkud Party do not have their own militias; there is only the IDF. Unless and until the PA becomes an effective government there can be no peace between the Palestinians and Israel, and no statehood for the Palestinians. This fact is not an external demand; it's an internal need. The sooner the Palestinians realize this - and do something effective about it (like disarming Hamas and the PFLP and the al Aksa Brigades, and all the other gangs), the sooner the achieve independent statehood.

ONE PROBLEM: the never-ending attacks against Israel are mostly the work of Neojihadist groups whose aim is NOT the creation of a Palestinian state within the occupied territories; it is the destruction of Israel, and REPLACING Israel with an Islamicist Palestinian state. That's what makes the job of real Palestinian moderates - who are willing to settle for a two-state solution - so impossible. IMHO: Until Neojihadism is defeated - everywhere - there will be no peace ANYWHERE.

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