Monday, June 25, 2007

The Rush to Support Abu Mazen: Too Little, Too Late

So after all this time spent trying to divide and conquer, the Israelis may actually have to pick a side. They're finally releasing funds to the PA in an effort to bolster Abbas.

In one of a range of measures it is weighing to support Abbas, Israeli Cabinet members agreed in principle to start giving him $550 million in frozen Palestinian tax money. Israel has withheld the funds - mostly customs duties that Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinians - since January 2006, when Hamas swept Palestinian parliamentary elections. Israel considers Hamas a terrorist group.

The freeze left previous Palestinian governments unable to pay full salaries to government employees, who support one-third of the Palestinian people. Olmert told his Cabinet that the unlocking of the tax revenues was meant to support the new Palestinian government. Abbas expelled Hamas from the government after the group took Gaza.

That's genius. Expel the people in charge from the government. It's like Charles I ordering Cromwell not to cut his head off. Oh, and never mind that Hamas actually won an election. And then won a little war, a war essentially encouraged by Israel, at least until the bad guys won.

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