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Hopefully eating my words
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, February 08, 2005

A month or so back, when it seemed that Mahmoud Abbas was a shoe in for the leadership of the Palestinians, I opined that based on some comments he'd made (which seemed to support terrorism and terrorists) I wasn't at all sure there'd be much of a change in the Palestinian/Israeli situtation.

I'm very hopeful, based on the declaration of a truce between the two sides, that I'll soon be eating my words.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon have declared a truce to end four years of Middle East violence.

Mr Abbas said the ceasefire, which begins immediately, would lead to a "new era of peace and hope".

Mr Sharon vowed to cease military action against Palestinian targets after militant groups halted violence.

In response, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said it was the best chance for peace in years.

The truce was announced at talks between Mr Sharon and Mr Abbas in the Egyptian resort of Sharm al-Sheikh.
Of course Abbas isn't the only player in this little drama. I'd be just as remiss in not pointing out that of all of Israel's leaders, I would have figured Ariel Sharon to be the least likely to put himself and his country in the position it now enjoys ... looking toward the hopeful prospect of peace.

Like the vote in Iraq, this is but a first step in a process which could break down within days. But it is a hopeful first step.

Unfortunately not everyone is excited about it:
Hamas militants gave a lukewarm reaction to the summit, with the group's representative in Lebanon, Osama Hamdan, saying the ceasefire declarations were "not binding" on its members.

Mr Hamdan told the Associated Press news agency that Mr Abbas had taken a "unilateral stand" that was "not the result of the outcome of an intra-Palestinian dialogue".
Obviously the Hamas position that Abbas took a "unilateral stand" could prove to be problematic. But if the two leaders can establish some sort of a dialogue and some sort of an understanding that would allow them to continue the process even if Hamas acts violently, we may indeed see the historic "beginning of the end" of this particular conflict in the Middle East.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Or at least the end of the beginning.
Written By: Dave
I found it striking how you hoped you would have to eat your words. It shows the maturity one expects from a politically astute adult. Compare that to the words of Jon Stewart:

"I've watched this thing unfold from the start and here's the great fear that I have: What if Bush, the president, ours, has been right about this all along? I feel like my world view will not sustain itself and I may, and again I don't know if I can physically do this, implode." [full post]

He can't bring himself to say, "Hey, I was wrong, and I'm glad that I was." I swear I see more maturity in my 3-year-old daughter.
Written By: angry_in_t_o

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