The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Saturday, February 26, 2005

              Suicide Bombing
It is not clear yet who carried out the suicide bombing in Tel Aviv last night. The Palestinians blame Hezbollah - which denies responsibility and does not even express congratulations to the Palestinians - and it seems that Israel is at least publicly going along with that story. But in a way, who actually carried out this attack is not that important. What is important, and what will tell a lot about Abbas and the newly "reformed" Palestinian authority, is how this attack is dealt with by the PA. The arrests of the brother of the bomber, and the Imam of the village are meaningless. More than likely, they will be released in a day or two. The only way that Abbas can show that he is serious about peace is by dismantling the terrorist organizations, something he does not seem to have the power to do. Once again, as with Arafat, the issue is that if the PA is complicit in the attacks then it is not a "partner for peace". And if it is powerless to stop the attacks, then it is also not a "partner for peace". The question then is why have it at all?

Just as important as actions by Abbas will be the actions of the US - the rest of the Quartet is hopeless, so there is no point in thinking that they will somehow push the Palestinians for any meaningful action. If the US response is merely words that "more needs to be done by the Palestinians", without any pressure on the Palestinians to actually do something, then we are right back in the same situation that has existed since Oslo - Israel is forced to make meaningful compromises, while Palestinians are allowed to continue making promises that they never fulfill and are never held to account for those. If the US actually pressures the PA to make meaningful arrests then we may know that something is different this time. Personally, I'm not optimistic that the PA will do anything.

At the same time, Debka (usual grain of salt) is reporting that the PA has gone shopping for heavy weaponry, in contravention of every agreement they have signed. Already, Ha'aretz has reported that Russia has agreed to give the PA Armored Personnel Carriers. Clearly such acquisitions by the PA do not bode well for peace. Even more clear is that without the total dismantling of the terrorist groups all of the current talk of "progress" or "window of opportunity" is completely meaningless. The only thing all of this "progress" is leading to is a wider and bloodier war.
|| Nudnik 11:10 AM
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