April 27, 2011 Fatah and Hamas Reach An Agreement, Syrian Slaughter Continues

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

April 27, 2011 Fatah and Hamas Reach An Agreement, Syrian Slaughter Continues

Israel was surprised this afternoon by an announcement that Hamas and Fatah have reached an agreement to form a joint government and hold elections in one year. This agreement is very similar to an agreement proposed by President Mubarack two years ago and rejected by Hamas. Under the terms of the agreement a technocratic government without political affilation will govern for the next year until a permanent agreement can be reached. As the anchor of one of the Israeli new shows stated as this announcement broke: "just what we needed, more "good" news."

It's not certain that this agreement between the Palestinian entities will be implemented. Israel will be in a particularly difficult position if the interim government the Palestinians put together appears credible. The initial Israeli reaction that this potential agreement "proves we have no negotiating partner", will not go far. If there really is going to be free and supervised elections, it is in Israel’s interests, both short and long term, to convince the Palestinian people to elect a moderate government who is willing to make a deal. Unfortunately, this may be beyond the ability of Netanyahu's government.

The Syrian government's actions in the last few days were brutal enough to get the US government to talk about sanctions, and for many European governments to do the same. On the other hand, President Obama has said nothing personally. It remains a mystery why Obama was so fast to call for Mubarak to go; while in the case of Assad, who has been an enemy of the US and peace, and has killed many times the number of his own people than Mubarak, there has been dead silence.. Today's Wall Street Journal's Ediitorial

Two articles worth reading: The first, by Professor Yehuda Bauer, From Radical Zionism to Radical Anti-Zionism

The Second, by Jay Goldberg: Is Israel America's Ultmiate Ally?, provides his take on the article by that name, written by Ambassador Oren in Foreign Policy.

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