Tough Questions About the Hamas-Fatah Deal

By Jeffrey Goldberg

From Michael Weiss:

• How can the noble cause of Palestinian nationalism be squared with supporting an anti-Semitic terrorist organisation which views al-Qaeda as People Like Us?

• What will happen to Fayyad, who has led the most successful and transparent PA government to date and yet whom both parties have indicated may be fast-tracked for retirement? Hamas at varying stages has called him a "pornographer" for suggesting women receive a modern education, a "collaborator" for being gemutlich with the Israelis and a "traitor" for doing all of the above. Fatah likes him slightly less for ending the Arafat-style patronage system whereby Fatah apparatchiks got cash and villas for agreeing not to blow stuff up without prior consent.

• The United States gave $900 million to the Palestinian Authority in 2010 on the basis of Fayyad's state-building helmsmanship. Abbas has alleged that Iran gave Hamas $500 million a year. The US considers Hamas a terrorist organisation and Iran a mortal enemy. Will it turn off the spigot to the PA? If not, will Iran's loot be rolled into the new PA budget thereby making the aid-reliant Palestinian economy a joint Great Satan-Islamic Republic subsidy?

• Last year, the PA gendarmerie and the Israel Defence Forces held over 400 security summits on joint policing of the West Bank. How many will they hold now?

• The anti-tank missile that Hamas shot at an Israeli school bus several weeks ago and that killed a 16 year-old boy was a Russian-made Kornet. Not the type of hardware one buys at RadioShack, the Kornet has a laser guidance system which means that Hamas was aiming for the school bus. If Hamas uses this state-of-art weaponry against Israeli civilians from the West Bank, how will Israel respond?


This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/05/tough-questions-about-the-hamas-fatah-deal/238323/