Yes, Fatah and Hamas have decided to resume their sitdown to sort things out. They’ll meet in Cairo later this month to iron out the remaining wrinkles.
Here’s what’s really at issue. There’s some wrangling about who takes over, but it’s not quite how it’s being portrayed. Eventually it’s likely going to be Hamas, either by election or by coup. Abbas knows that, and he and a lot of the Fatah old guard are retiring with the money they stole.
What going on now is a sitdown about future prerogatives for the next generation of Fatrah operatives and future tactics. Which is where the sticking point of keeping American educated Selim Fayyad on as the unity government’s unelected Prime minister comes in.
Fayyad is one of the few ‘Palestinian’ politicians who speaks English passably and who has a reputation for efficiency and a track record for rooting out at least some of the corruption involving Fatah’s theft of aid money. He’s a key figure in keeping the jirzyah to the ‘Palestinians’ coming in from those gullible donors in the Eu, The UN and America because with him around they know all of it won’t be stolen or end up being spent on ‘security forces’ and weaponry.
But that’s exactly why he has little political constituency, either among the Fatah mafiosos who see him as interfering in their game or among Hamas who see him as a western tool occupying the office Hamas PM Ismail Haniyah was rightfully elected to.
Abbas and his circle want him to stay on for two reasons – to keep the aid money flowing and to provide a sliver of respectability to a government that contains Hamas, still officially a terrorist group in the EU and US. Abbas and his Fatah allies see Fayyad as part of a strategy that gradually gets the west used to the new ‘Palestinian’ government containing Hamas, particularly in the EU.
Hamas wants Fayyad gone. Their orientation is towards a power bloc that contains Syria, Iran, a Hezbollah ruled Lebanon and a Muslim Brotherhood ruled Egypt, they make no pretense about it and they see no need to keep someone like Fayyad on.
That’s what Fatah and Hamas are going to be talking about in Cairo.
It’ll be interesting to see how the western governments who vote to push ‘Palestinian’ statehood through the UN are going to justify endorsing a Hamas government. Of course some of them will, but it will be interesting to watch the gymnastics of their trying to justify it.
Rob Miller blogs at Joshuapundit