Benjamin Netanyahu was cited in this morning's Ha'aretz as saying
that the only partner Israel had for peace talks is a "virtual partner in
a virtual reality." I am afraid that he is correct, and that we shall see
that very soon after everyone docks at Annapolis. Who everyone is, we do
not yet know. The Saudis, for example? Without them, the virtual reality
is not even virtual.
Do you expect Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah to really fight Hamas in the
West Bank? Forget it. Today's Times carries an article "Palestinians
Clash in West Bank." The place was Nablus to which over many
months the Israelis had brought some order. Then they agreed to allow 300
Palestinian police to take over. Oops! The Palestinians themselves only
wanted to have responsibility in daylight. The Israelis would do the
patrolling at night.
So what about the clash? Was it Fatah against Hamas? Not on your
life. It was Fatah against Fatah. So is Fatah a real partner? Or a
virtual partner, as Netanyahu insists? Actually, that's what I think both