Barry Rubin offers poignant advice to Condi Rice in wake of her shuttle diplomacy tour of the Mideast in an op-ed in the Globe & Mail’s commentary pages today.
His message, don’t waste your time with Fatah. Here’s why:
"In the 15 months since then (Palestinian elections), Fatah has not made a single real reform, made any effort to combat its rampant corruption or brought younger dissidents into the leadership. Instead of articulating an alternative to the Hamas position, Fatah has simply tried to compete in proving how militant and willing to use violence it can be. This is a no-win strategy."
"There has been the extremism of Fatah’s methods: the use of terrorism to mobilize Palestinians emotionally and frighten Israel into surrender. Terrorism has always been a central strategy"
?Last June, for example, Hamas forces openly participated in a cross-border raid in which two Israeli soldiers were killed and one was kidnapped. The Palestinian Authority did not condemn the attack. Every day, rockets are fired at Israeli civilians by forces allied to Hamas. Last week, a Hamas sniper in the Gaza Strip wounded an Israeli electric company worker inside Israel. These are all acts of war or terrorism condoned or even carried out by the Palestinian Authority’s ruling party."