February 14, 2006

Anti-boycott article

Here's Danny Rubinstein in today's Ha'aretz:
Hamas' victory must not serve as a pretext for the Israeli government to stop the political process and disengage from dialogue with the Palestinians. About three weeks have passed since the political earthquake of Hamas' victory, and it is now possible, to a large extent, to assess the direction of developments in the West Bank and Gaza........

.........Hamas leaders say that the problem is not whether they will recognize Israel, but whether Israel will recognize the rights of the Palestinians......

Against this background, what is needed is an Israeli policy that does not reiterate the shopworn cliche of "it is now clear that we have no partner on the Palestinian side; there is no one to talk with." After Yasser Arafat was declared a non-partner because he supported terrorism, the Palestinians elected Abbas as their leader - the man of whom Bir Zeit lecturer Nazmi Juaba said: "More of a partner than Abu Mazen [Abbas] we cannot create for you." Abbas is still around. He is a chairman with real powers, he has support in the region and worldwide, and he is seeking a way to work with both the new Palestinian government and the government of Israel. The latter must not boycott the Palestinians because of Hamas.

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