Just so you can get an idea of some of what is out there take a look at the Zombie Hall of Shame.

Now here is an interesting article in the Jerusalem Post: Israel, Quartet disagree on Hamas role

Despite intense Israeli lobbying efforts, neither the US nor the rest of the Quartet – the EU, Russia and the UN – are as adamant as Israel about Hamas not taking part in the upcoming Palestinian Legislative Council elections.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom made it clear in New York that as far as Israel was concerned Hamas could not take part in the elections, and that if it were to participate in the Gaza Strip, Israel would not coordinate with the Palestinian Authority – lift roadblocks and provide access – for the elections in the West Bank.

While the impression was created in the Israeli media over the last two days that the Quartet had backed Israel’s position in its meeting on Tuesday, a careful reading of the Quartet’s statement indicates that this was not precisely the case.

According to the Quartet’s statement, “Ultimately those who want to be part of the political process should not engage in armed group or militia activities, because there’s a fundamental contradiction between such activities and the building of a democratic state.”

In testimony to a congressional subcommittee on Wednesday, David Welch, the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, said that this statement was “an important step forward.” But Welch also indicated that this was a long-term expectation of the PA, rather than a short-term demand.

“I believe that’s an important step forward, not just representing our position – we of course agree with that, or it would not have been said in that fashion – but as a statement of where the international community, led by the Quartet, is now in its expectation of what Palestinian governance would look like,” he said

Welch, who testified with Lt.-Gen. William Ward, the US’s security coordinator to the PA, before the House International Relations Committee’s Middle East and Central Asia subcommittee, said, “It’s an obligation under the road map that the Palestinian Authority should take steps to dismantle terror organizations. We consider Hamas to be a terror organization. So regardless if they were having a municipal election next week or legislative elections in January, that obligation is therein before them.”

At the same time, he said he didn’t know how or if this would be implemented on the ground. “I think what we achieved in the Quartet statement this week was a substantial indication of the international community’s views. Now how will it translate for the Palestinians, sir, I’m not entirely sure,” he said.

Welch noted that Hamas members have already been elected to municipal councils and are in “government already in the Palestinian territory.” Welch said that American law precludes any contact with Hamas. “We do not have contact with Hamas. We are not pursuing contact with Hamas.”

On another matter, he said, “The post-disengagement transition to Palestinian self-governance in Gaza has not been as smooth as we had hoped…….”

I’m not sure this is even worth the time parsing it. “…not as smooth as we had hoped”? The fatuousness of what comes out of Washington these days is deafening. Ultimately, what is being said is that they will talk to Hamas, and seek to force the Israelis to do so, and ultimately ask Israel to commit suicide. I mean, really, you can see the pattern. No, maybe, then again, perhaps, we’ll think about it…………………………….


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