Friday, June 09, 2006

Hamas urges "unity"

Hamas, faced with a deadline today to accept Israel's right to exist, called off its truce with Israel and urged that a proposed referendum be called off:

Haniyeh called for Abbas to back down for the sake of Palestinian unity.

Unity; that's a good one. Note to Hamas: Unity is easy to achieve. Simply respect the will of the people as expressed in a referendum.

Abbas brushed off the request, and is expected to make a Saturday announcement establishing a referendum on July 31.

In yet more evidence of Hamas' troubled position, there's this gem:

Haniyeh said [the referendum] had "no legal and constitutional basis" and urged Palestinians to stop debating the issue.

"Please, folks, just shut up and stop putting us in a tight spot."

Seriously, folks, if this works and Palestine formally recognizes Israel, Abbas may deserve a Nobel. This is gutsy politics. Self-interested, true, but game-changing.

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