Jaw Jaw, Not War, War, Urge Officials On Mideast Talks

The European Union Parliament reinforced its support for President Mahmoud Abbas, leader of Fatah, but also urged that he work toward reconciliation with Hamas. EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solann, said: “What we tell him(Abbas) is that he is the one we recognize, the one we support.” But, the EU hopes Abbas can find ways in which Hamas can be brought into the peace process. A senior Fatah official told the Jerusalem Post: “Hamas is a terror organization and any connection of any type whatsoever to Hamas will not bring peace.” However, a bipartisan group of former US officials and congressmen offered contradictory advice to President Bush in a letter sent to him. “We believe that a genuine dialogue with the organization (Hamas) is preferable to isolation.” It was signed by individuals such as former Bush I national security advisor, Brent Scocroft and former Carter national security advisor, Zbigniew Bzezinski.

The old adage made famous by Winston Churchill’s comment that one should “jaw, jaw, not war, war,” in reference to discussing issues with the Soviet Union still holds true. There is nothing to be gained by keeping Hamas out of discussions other than to reinforce their desire for more violence. Hamas encounters greater pressure for peace if engaged with talks led by all major Arab nations than when it is alone.