Monday, June 25, 2007


Today's Melbourne Age editorial fairly sums up the choices facing the Palestinian people in the wake of the events of the past 10 days - Middle East peace process at the crossroads. It considers the weakness of Fatah's Mahmoud Abbas and it states plainly why the democratically elected Hamas government that "espouses violence such as suicide bombings as a legitimate tool to effect change can only ever be regarded as a pariah". Refreshingly, Israel is not the object of blame for the recent violence and bloodshed and we can be thankful for that in view of the performance of some of this newspapers reporters and commentators.

In tandem with today's editorial, the Age ran an opinion piece from Dr Colin Rubenstein, executive director of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council calling for Abbas to confront the Palestinian terror groups. Rubenstein warns that the blood-soaked Hamas victory in Gaza and the break with the Fatah-controlled West Bank profoundly "complicates Israeli-Palestinian peace prospects" especially with Hamas seeking to emulate Hizbullah's Lebanon model of a "terror statelet" that atttacks Israeli civilians from positions within its own civilian areas.

It seems that the Age is not as comfortable with this offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood whose "goal is to transform the Middle East into an Islamist caliphate, similar to that of the 7th century" as some of those who report events from the region on its behalf.

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