Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Earlier I noted a report which listed 4 prongs of a Tanzim/Fatah halting of suicide bombers (aka. "shaheed-o-pause") this is the text which would have had the names of Fatah leaders attached to it for appearance on op-ed pages (one of the 4 "prongs").

I think that there's 2 messages here. The message to Americans seems to be: "We Palestinians understand you better than you understand us; and we are more like you than you acknowledge. We've seen how horrible it is that we're training our kids to be Islamikazes so we're stopping".

The message to Israelis seems to be: "You really don't want another Lebanon quagmire, do you? We're trying to stop the attacks on pre-1967 Israel, so why don't you just withdraw unilaterally from West Bank/Gaza".

The text suggests that Fatah still considers attacks on civilian settlers as acceptable, and contains no mention of negotiations (past or future).

The text certainly breaks no new ground in the rhetoric department: Palestinians are still the perpetual victims; there's no recognition of the fact that roadblocks, reoccupation of cities etc. came only in the wake of the wave of Islamikaze attacks of which the Palestinians were then so proud.

But still, if they stop using Islamikazes (as a matter of policy) that's terrific. More likely though is that this is a temporary measure to pressure Israel into concessions and bring Arafat back into the loop, especially now when major gains have been made against the terror infrastructure.

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