THE SPINE NOVEMBER 6, 2007
Benjamin Netanyahu was cited in this morning's Ha'aretz as saying that the only partner Israel had for peace talks is a "virtual partner in a virtual reality." I am afraid that he is correct, and that we shall see that very soon after everyone docks at Annapolis. Who everyone is, we do not yet know. The Saudis, for example? Without them, the virtual reality is not even virtual.
Do you expect Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah to really fight Hamas in the West Bank? Forget it. Today's Times carries an article "Palestinians Clash in West Bank." The place was Nablus to which over many months the Israelis had brought some order. Then they agreed to allow 300 Palestinian police to take over. Oops! The Palestinians themselves only wanted to have responsibility in daylight. The Israelis would do the patrolling at night.
So what about the clash? Was it Fatah against Hamas? Not on your life. It was Fatah against Fatah. So is Fatah a real partner? Or a virtual partner, as Netanyahu insists? Actually, that's what I think both