RealNews

Sound and Fury: Sharon-Abbas Face-Off

After beating the war drums over Gaza to get the attention of the new Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, Israel has now put aside plans for a full-scale invasion to allow him further time to get Palestinian radicals and militants under better control. In the end, it was a nerve-racking but perhaps productive exercise in brinkmanship.As the two sides feel their way forward toward negotiations on a final settlement, there will be more lurches toward warfare, more showmanship, more tactical retreats. It is a matter of necessity as well as design, and it serves both sides’ interests in projecting a posture of independence and strength. Contrary to appearances, the Israeli-Palestinian relationship is relatively close at senior levels, with an intimate understanding of each side’s political problems. The death of Yasir Arafat has created difficulties as well as opportunities, but the Israelis and Palestinians seem at this early date to be finding a modus operandi – so long as they avoid the appearance of working together too closely.Full Story

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