A Pro-Unity Government Palestinian Minister from Fatah Speaks Out

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Yesterday afternoon, I had the pleasure of hosting Advisor to President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestine Minister for Economic Development Mohammad Shtayyeh in my office to discuss the status of Palestinian Government unity government talks between Fatah and Hamas.
This is a highly unusual and important exchange because Shtayyeh is a solid Fatah party leader — who in contrast to many of his party colleagues — wants to achieve a workable unity government that includes Hamas. He believes Hamas wants this too and is working hard to counter what he considers to be a disinformation campaign that Hamas is not interested in coming back into a workable governance situation.
Egypt Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman has been in Washington this last week sharing details about his efforts to generate a unity government agreement between Fatah and Hamas.
Sources tell me that the US government position on a unity government has not yet fully come together and significant divisions exist between key players on Obama’s staff.
The talks between Hamas and Fatah will resume on the 1st of April.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

29 comments on “A Pro-Unity Government Palestinian Minister from Fatah Speaks Out

  1. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Somehow, I doubt that this guy was writing letters to the editor or engaged in any serious policy analysis”
    Its interesting that Lawrence saw fit to let us know whose opinion he doesn’t want to read, but neglected to tell us whose opinion he enjoys reading.
    I would suggest to Lawrence, if he hasn’t already figured it out, not to read my posts. And, I will even go out on a limb here, and presume to suggest one more thing to Lawrence….
    Read the posts of those whose opinions you enjoy reading.
    I mean, hey man, its not rocket science.

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  2. David says:

    What Kathleen said.

    Reply

  3. Kathleen G says:

    POA for some folks the truth hurts.
    Thanks for what you do. You do not back down and you back up your opinions with substantive material.
    Someone should be outraged in the states about what has been taking place for the Palestinians
    Did you watch those three short film clips at the Guardian website? I posted them above

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  4. lawrence T says:

    The ramblings of “Pissed Off American” get old very quickly. After perusing only a few of these comment sections, I can only say that “We get it already.”
    I wonder what these people did before the internet? Somehow, I doubt that this guy was writing letters to the editor or engaged in any serious policy analysis.
    But, here we have it; the internet is the great equalizer, huh? Everyone is free to communicate to their heart’s content. Terrific.
    Yawn.

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  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    A while back I stated on here that how Clinton and Obama treat the issue of Uzi Arad will be a clear indicator of how locked into the status quo Obamna is. I have no doubt that Arad will get his visa.
    BTW, have you seen any of these sacks of shit say one single thing about an American citizen lying on his possible deathbed in Israel, missing an eye and part of his frontal lobe, shot by an IDF jackboot because he dared protest the racist policies of Israel?

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  6. Carroll says:

    Huummmm…
    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/03/25/the_former_mossad_analyst_clinton_couldnt_avoid
    The former Mossad analyst Clinton couldn’t avoid
    Wed, 03/25/2009 – 5:33pm
    It’s no secret that relations between the Obama administration, which has committed itself to working for a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the newly formed coalition led by Israeli prime minister designate Benjamin Netanyahu, who favors an “economic peace” in the Fatah-controlled West Bank over Palestinian political sovereignty, already appear somewhat tense.
    Israel’s anxiety that Iran may go nuclear while Washington tries to reach out to Tehran is also straining the traditionally close U.S.-Israeli relationship. But what has not yet been reported is the degree to which another factor is further contributing to high-level awkwardness between the two countries.
    Sources tell Foreign Policy that when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Netanyahu at the King David Hotel earlier this month, such was the concern that a certain former Mossad analyst who now serves as Netanyahu’s security advisor may pose a counterintelligence problem that, after conferring with an aide, Clinton suggested to Netanyahu that they reduce the number of people in the room.
    The former analyst, Uzi Arad, has recently headed an Israeli think tank that convenes the influential annual Herzliya strategy dialogue. Arad has been unable to get a U.S. visa for the past two years, he has suggested, because he was identified in a 2005 indictment (though not by name) as one of the Israelis who met with then-Pentagon Iran specialist Larry Franklin. Franklin pled guilty in 2005 on charges related to unauthorized disclosure of national-security information to people not authorized to receive it, including officials with the Israeli government.
    Clinton’s suggestion was made, sources say, in the hopes that Netanyahu would get the message and excuse Arad from the meeting. What happened instead, sources report, was that Netanyahu dismissed from the meeting Israeli ambassador to Washington Sallai Meridor, who has since announced his resignation. (An account of the meeting previously published on ForeignPolicy.com revealed that Clinton seemed remarkably constrained and tight-lipped during it.)
    U.S. officials knowledgeable about the meeting declined to comment about the incident but did not deny that Arad’s presence at the meeting was a concern to the U.S. delegation. The Israeli Embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    Arad maintains that his discussions with Franklin were about ordinary matters and that the two men discussed nothing sensitive. “We had coffee and we talked about the agenda of the day — nothing classified, nothing secret, nothing related to espionage,” he told the Associated Press this month. “If I was not a Mossad employee in the past, they would not have noticed me. My sin was that I was in the past in the Mossad. It’s not a big deal, and I believe that this issue will be resolved.”
    According to what Arad told the AP, Arad’s visa request was rejected “under section 212-3 (A) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, which bars entry for those suspected of intent to engage in espionage or sabotage. Arad said he has not applied for a visa since.” He told the wire service that he had offered to take a polygraph to resolve the matter, and sources tell The Cable he has written several letters to U.S. authorities to try to resolve the situation.
    In its unnamed reference to Arad, the indictment against Franklin (pdf) states that “On or about February 20, 2004, Franklin met in the cafeteria at the Pentagon with this person previously associated with an intelligence agency of Foreign Nation A and discussed a Middle Eastern country’s nuclear program.” Foreign Nation A has previously been confirmed to be Israel, and the Middle Eastern country in question is Iran.
    A Washington think tank hand familiar with the case said that the FBI mistakenly sees Arad as a counterintelligence risk. He speculated that U.S. officials preparing to brief foreign government officials on classified information might have been informed by security advisors not to share sensitive information with Arad.
    Former U.S. officials who attended the Herzliya conference while still serving in government said they had been given no guidance or warnings about Arad, whose think tank convenes the influential annual strategy conference.
    “They were not planning to have a classified conversation,” the Washington think tank hand said, to explain the seeming discrepancy. If they were, “they would have to get a different counterintelligence brief.”
    After Meridor resigned as the Israeli ambassador to the United States, there was concern in Washington that Netanyahu might try to appoint Arad as his replacement, another source told The Cable, and the Obama administration communicated its preemptive disapproval.
    In addition to Secretary Clinton, the U.S. attendees at the March 3 meeting at the King David Hotel were Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell, ambassador to Israel James Cunningham, and NSC senior director on the Middle East Dan Shapiro. Netanyahu, Arad, political advisor Alon Pinkas, and attorney Yitzhak Molcho represented Israel.
    “To the best of my knowledge, [Clinton] never indicated she wanted him [Arad] out,” an Israeli diplomat apprised of the meeting told Foreign Policy Wednesday. “He slipped in when she asked Cunningham to stay in what was supposed to be a four-eyes meeting.”
    After Netanyahu suggested ending the meeting in a private conversation between the two principals, the diplomat continued, “Clinton said: ‘Let’s start, but I want George [Mitchell] inside.’ He agreed, of course, but then she called Cunningham and asked him to join, at which point Netanyahu asked Uzi — his long time confidant — to join. Meridor was away from the room.”
    “That said,” he added, “it’s not mutually exclusive from what you heard.”
    Multiple Israeli sources said Netanyahu was well aware of the American sensitivity about Arad, but apparently considers it “overblown.” U.S. sources said that once Netanyahu officially forms his government and presumably makes Arad his national security advisor, an American visa would likely come through.
    No government gets to decide who the other government’s interlocutors will be, the think tank hand commented — a diplomatic fact of life that is true not only of close American allies like Israel, but also its adversaries, such as Iran.”

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  7. Kathleen G says:

    Arthur/POA
    “whew” indeed

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  8. arthurdecco says:

    Re: Posted by PissedOffAmerican, Mar 26 2009, 8:40PM
    Whew!

    Reply

  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    This is from anti-war.com.
    I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the list of advisors, but it sounds about right for Hillary, and her pro Israel machinations.
    http://careandwashingofthebrain.blogspot.com/2009/03/hillarys-advisors-at-state-welcome-to.html
    Thursday, March 26, 2009
    Hillary’s Advisors at State: Welcome to our Bat Mitzvah!
    Wonder who’s advising HRM Hillary at the State Department? You can stop wondering who is advising Hillary, but now you can wonder why there are so many Zionists and Israeli-Firsters prowling the halls at State…. and more than a few “Let’s bomb Iran” crowd from the “Project for the New American Century” gang.
    Surely HRM Clinton is getting sage, unopinionated advice from this crowd, right?
    Right?
    The Deputy Secretary James B. Steinberg.
    Also a denizen of Zionist think tank AEI and a fan of the Patriot Act.
    And part of the Project for the New American Century crowd.
    You do remember the PNAC, don’t you? This is the crowd that will have American kids fighting wars for Israel until forever.
    “Israel’s fight against terrorism is our fight.… For reasons both moral and strategic, we need to stand with Israel in its fight against terrorism.”
    And advocating that America fight wars against Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. Funny, but before Israel came into existence, I can’t recall the US having any enemies in the Middle East.
    The Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, Jacob L. Lew A member of the CFR and formerly mobbed up with one of the welfare kings, Citigroup.
    The Office of the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs is Paula J. Dobriansky. Also a member of the Trilateral Commission and the CFR. And a member of the Project for the New American Century crowd, who advocated for unlimited war to protect American “interests” after a new Pearl Harbor.
    Which we got on 9/11.
    The Counselor of the Department is, who personally advises HRM Hillary on weighty world affairs is…. I don’t know. The name isn’t listed on the site and when I emailed State and asked for the name, I was told to give them a call???
    I did and was told that ELIOT COHEN is the acting counselor to HRM Hillary. Cohen is staying in place in an “acting” position for now. At least until this bunch is able to trick the US into fighting another war for Israel.
    points out that Cohen ” intellectually is neoconservative” and that “he was an early supporter of the military intervention in Iraq and came out against recommendations from the Iraq Study Group in December to launch negotiations with Iraq’s neighbors,” i.e., Iran and Syria — especially Iran.
    It likely goes without saying by now that the reason Iraq was so quickly at the forefront of Cohen’s mind in the aftermath of 9/11 was because invading Iraq and changing its government was long one of Cohen’s dreams, and the 9/11 attacks became the pretext dressed up as the “justification” for Cohen’s dream to come true.
    Eliot is also one of the PNAC gangsters, plus a darling of the Zionist Think Tank, AEI.
    Before Cohen stuck his fangs into Lady Liberty at the State Department, one Philip Zelikow held the position. Yes, THAT Zelikow who chaired the “9/11 Truth Commission.”
    Or as its become known as “9/11 Omission Commission.”
    Funny, but I don’t recall the LOBBY going ballistic about any of these appointments, like they did when Chas Freeman was nominated to be part of Obama’s cabinet.
    And please, can we stop the hyper-ventilating in columns and blogs saying that the LOBBY has been unmasked for its role in assassinating Chas Freeman? And that it might–gasp–finally be on its death bed?
    The only one on the death bed, besides millions of Iraqi’s, thousands of Afghani’s, thousands of Pakistani’s and soon, if the LOBBY gets its way, thousands of Iranians, is Tristan Anderson, the peaceful American protestor who was savagely attacked by IDF Goon Squads.
    The LOBBY will not die until a wooden stake is driven thru its blackened heart.

    Reply

  10. PissedOffAmerican says:

    There is no way that Israel will allow a unified Palestinian front. Simply ain’t going to happen, even if Israel has to do as few false flag assasinations to keep the division and animous alive. Israel’s agenda is served far too well by a Palestinian people that are presented to the world as malcontents and sub-humans, not even able to get along with their own kind, much less the Israelis.
    Hillary even fed this division by her rhetoric about the 900 million aid package. At first, it was touted as money to rebuild Gaza after this most recent bloodbath Israel launched. Then the story changed, and the promised funds were diverted to the West Bank, the excuse being that we didn’t want this nasty Hamas getting their sub-human terrorist jew hatin’ mitts on the money.
    Mark my words, any constructive moves by the Palestinians towards unity will be sabotaged by the Israelis, by any means necessary, no matter how despicable, illegal, or murderous.
    Its interesting noting that stories are now leaking about the latest Israeli plan to expand settlements in the West Bank. Oh well, could be worse I guess, at least Israel isn’t frying West Bank Palestinians in White Phosphorous, like they did in Gaza. I guess if you’re a West Bank Palestinian, the Israelis are content, at this point, to just steal your land. But if I was a Palestinian in the West Bank, I wouldn’t squawk too loudly, or one of those “moral” IDF troops, goaded on by an IDF rabbi preaching to you about eradicating the Palestinians, is liable to put a tear gas canister in your ear at point blank range.

    Reply

  11. Kathleen G says:

    Robert Fisk: Why do they hate the West so much, we will ask
    Wednesday, 7 January 2009
    A child injured in the Israeli bombardment of a UN school yesterday is taken to Shifa hospital in Gaza City
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-why-do-they-hate-the-west-so-much-we-will-ask-1230046.html
    AP
    A child injured in the Israeli bombardment of a UN school yesterday is taken to Shifa hospital in Gaza City
    * © Photos More pictures
    So once again, Israel has opened the gates of hell to the Palestinians. Forty civilian refugees dead in a United Nations school, three more in another. Not bad for a night’s work in Gaza by the army that believes in “purity of arms”. But why should we be surprised?
    Have we forgotten the 17,500 dead – almost all civilians, most of them children and women – in Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon; the 1,700 Palestinian civilian dead in the Sabra-Chatila massacre; the 1996 Qana massacre of 106 Lebanese civilian refugees, more than half of them children, at a UN base; the massacre of the Marwahin refugees who were ordered from their homes by the Israelis in 2006 then slaughtered by an Israeli helicopter crew; the 1,000 dead of that same 2006 bombardment and Lebanese invasion, almost all of them civilians?
    What is amazing is that so many Western leaders, so many presidents and prime ministers and, I fear, so many editors and journalists, bought the old lie; that Israelis take such great care to avoid civilian casualties. “Israel makes every possible effort to avoid civilian casualties,” yet another Israeli ambassador said only hours before the Gaza massacre. And every president and prime minister who repeated this mendacity as an excuse to avoid a ceasefire has the blood of last night’s butchery on their hands. Had George Bush had the courage to demand an immediate ceasefire 48 hours earlier, those 40 civilians, the old and the women and children, would be alive.
    he news… it’s time to evacuate my pregnant wife
    What happened was not just shameful. It was a disgrace. Would war crime be too strong a description? For that is what we would call this atrocity if it had been committed by Hamas. So a war crime, I’m afraid, it was. After covering so many mass murders by the armies of the Middle East – by Syrian troops, by Iraqi troops, by Iranian troops, by Israeli troops – I suppose cynicism should be my reaction. But Israel claims it is fighting our war against “international terror”. The Israelis claim they are fighting in Gaza for us, for our Western ideals, for our security, for our safety, by our standards. And so we are also complicit in the savagery now being visited upon Gaza.
    I’ve reported the excuses the Israeli army has served up in the past for these outrages. Since they may well be reheated in the coming hours, here are some of them: that the Palestinians killed their own refugees, that the Palestinians dug up bodies from cemeteries and planted them in the ruins, that ultimately the Palestinians are to blame because they supported an armed faction, or because armed Palestinians deliberately used the innocent refugees as cover.
    The Sabra and Chatila massacre was committed by Israel’s right-wing Lebanese Phalangist allies while Israeli troops, as Israel’s own commission of inquiry revealed, watched for 48 hours and did nothing. When Israel was blamed, Menachem Begin’s government accused the world of a blood libel. After Israeli artillery had fired shells into the UN base at Qana in 1996, the Israelis claimed that Hizbollah gunmen were also sheltering in the base. It was a lie. The more than 1,000 dead of 2006 – a war started when Hizbollah captured two Israeli soldiers on the border – were simply dismissed as the responsibility of the Hizbollah. Israel claimed the bodies of children killed in a second Qana massacre may have been taken from a graveyard. It was another lie. The Marwahin massacre was never excused. The people of the village were ordered to flee, obeyed Israeli orders and were then attacked by an Israeli gunship. The refugees took their children and stood them around the truck in which they were travelling so that Israeli pilots would see they were innocents. Then the Israeli helicopter mowed them down at close range. Only two survived, by playing dead. Israel didn’t even apologise.
    Twelve years earlier, another Israeli helicopter attacked an ambulance carrying civilians from a neighbouring village – again after they were ordered to leave by Israel – and killed three children and two women. The Israelis claimed that a Hizbollah fighter was in the ambulance. It was untrue. I covered all these atrocities, I investigated them all, talked to the survivors. So did a number of my colleagues. Our fate, of course, was that most slanderous of libels: we were accused of being anti-Semitic.
    And I write the following without the slightest doubt: we’ll hear all these scandalous fabrications again. We’ll have the Hamas-to-blame lie – heaven knows, there is enough to blame them for without adding this crime – and we may well have the bodies-from-the-cemetery lie and we’ll almost certainly have the Hamas-was-in-the-UN-school lie and we will very definitely have the anti-Semitism lie. And our leaders will huff and puff and remind the world that Hamas originally broke the ceasefire. It didn’t. Israel broke it, first on 4 November when its bombardment killed six Palestinians in Gaza and again on 17 November when another bombardment killed four more Palestinians.
    Yes, Israelis deserve security. Twenty Israelis dead in 10 years around Gaza is a grim figure indeed. But 600 Palestinians dead in just over a week, thousands over the years since 1948 – when the Israeli massacre at Deir Yassin helped to kick-start the flight of Palestinians from that part of Palestine that was to become Israel – is on a quite different scale. This recalls not a normal Middle East bloodletting but an atrocity on the level of the Balkan wars of the 1990s. And of course, when an Arab bestirs himself with unrestrained fury and takes out his incendiary, blind anger on the West, we will say it has nothing to do with us. Why do they hate us, we will ask? But let us not say we do not know the answer.

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  12. Kathleen G says:

    The Guardian has just released three films about the war crimes committed in the Gaza by Israel
    Warren/All
    Israel’s war crimes.
    Three films
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/series/gaza-war-crimes-investigation

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  13. Kathleen G says:

    Hey Warren you may not have noticed but the Palestinian people had a fair election and they elected Hamas.
    People like Rep Ros Lehtinen, Lantos ,Liebermann etc did everything in their power to isolate and push Hamas in a corner. Where did that get Israel?
    Oh somehow you failed to mention how corrupt and immoral the Israeli government and settlers continue to be

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  14. Kathleen G says:

    An Army of Extremist by Christopher Hitchens
    March 25, 2009 “Slate” — Recent reports of atrocities committed by Israeli soldiers in the course of the intervention in Gaza have described the incitement of conscripts and reservists by military rabbis who characterized the battle as a holy war for the expulsion of non-Jews from Jewish land. The secular Israeli academic Dany Zamir, who first brought the testimony of shocked Israeli soldiers to light, has been quoted as if the influence of such extremist clerical teachings was something new. This is not the case.
    I remember being in Israel in 1986 when the chief army “chaplain” in the occupied territories, Rabbi Shmuel Derlich, issued his troops a 1,000-word pastoral letter enjoining them to apply the biblical commandment to exterminate the Amalekites as “the enemies of Israel.” Nobody has recently encountered any Amalekites, so the chief educational officer of the Israeli Defense Forces asked Rabbi Derlich whether he would care to define his terms and say whom he meant. Rather evasively—if rather alarmingly—the man of God replied, “Germans.” There are no Germans in Judaea and Samaria or, indeed, in the Old Testament, so the rabbi’s exhortation to slay all Germans as well as quite probably all Palestinians was referred to the Judge Advocate General’s Office. Forty military rabbis publicly came to Derlich’s support, and the rather spineless conclusion of the JAG was that he had committed no legal offense but should perhaps refrain in the future from making political statements on the army’s behalf.
    http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22290.htm

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  15. Stacy says:

    As to the sources in the US government/Obama admin. who are divided, does anyone know how Obama himself and Secretary Clinton feel on this issue? I know the administration will be getting tremendous pressure from the hawks on the right to continue putting so many conditions on any Palestinian effort to govern (while issuing no conditions for the Israelis to meet) but if Obama really wants to move forward towards mid-east peace he is going to need to recognize that the right-wing, pro-Israel lobbyists are not going to get him there- it hasn’t worked for the past 8 years, it’s not going to work now.

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  16. Warren Metzler says:

    A truly misleading interview. The PLO is totally corrupt, which is
    what lead to Hamas’s political power in the first place. What is
    needed is a unity government, following quickly by elections, so
    the crooks such as Mohammad Shtayyeh and Abu Mazen can be
    retired from political power and new people come into
    government that can negotiate with Israel from a position of
    integrity and common sense.

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  17. samuelburke says:

    steve has to be very careful, he knows which side his bagel gets buttered.
    neocons have power and power begets suckups.

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  18. jlo says:

    Let me clarify. His ‘message’ seems to me to be a desperate one because of the ways in which it doesn’t really square with reality as we know it. Suggesting that Hamas has only 20 percent support, or that Hamas coming to the table without prior demands equals weakness, are not convincing arguments. Bottom line, Fatah needs Hamas more than Hamas needs Fatah at this point in time. And Fatah needs for Washington to accept a unity government where Hamas plays a significant role. Only by convincing policy makers in Washington of an alternate reality can Fatah hope to secure the blessings of the US government. The talking points Kathleen lists above, dubious propositions that they may be, all point in that direction.

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  19. Carroll says:

    I bet there “divisions” within the Obama adm over this..LOL
    I’am with Kathleen, tells us who is promoting what.
    Palestine better hurry up though, the Israelis are getting crazier and crazier.
    Get together fellows,then go to the UN and demand that promised statehood….with the borders (vague as they were in some areas) as the UN outlined in 1948. There have been no official changes at the UN to those borders..get your statehoood and you will have some real rights and ammunition in the land disputes and everything else Israel does in Palestine .
    The Hamas Fatah standoff is exactly what Israel wants to prevent official Palestine statehood. Quit playing into their hands, make common cause boys, you can revise, hammer out and fight over the internals later.

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  20. Kathleen G says:

    jio I just listened again. I did not think that Mohammad Shtayyeh came off as “desperate” at all. My take was that he was so intelligent, articulate, sincere and well versed and well intentioned.
    “Hamas has come to Cairo without pre-conditions”
    “isolation of Hamas will radicalize Hamas even more”
    “Palestinian state will diffuse tension with Iran”
    Israel wants to, is, has been ramping this tension up.
    Listening again the only thing that I disagree with Steve on is you are going to bring up the “element of violence to Hamas”
    How in the hell can you skip the “elements of violence” to the Israeli settlers and the Israeli government
    Quite lopsided

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  21. jlo says:

    “Hamas is in a much weaker position than ever before”(7:52)????? According to JMCC’s February opinion polling, Hamas is more popular than Fatah in both Gaza and the West Bank (~30 percent to ~20 percent). That being the case, what incentive does Hamas have to come to Fatah’s terms?
    Add to that the fact that international opprobrium towards the Jewish state continues to build over its Gaza campaign, along with what is sure to be European resistance to the new Israeli government, and it would seem to me that short and medium term futures for Hamas look rosier than they have since their election victory in January 2006. Or am I missing something?
    Mr. Shtayyeh may be articulate and speak good English, but I thought he came across as a little desperate in this interview.
    My take on this is that Fatah is desperately trying to prove its continuing relevance to the United States government. And if you prefer a less tactical reading of his words, consider the larger strategic implications that may be at play. Mr. Shtayyeh’s characterization of the first round of talks in Egypt as being “brainstorming”–after the fact–says to me that the marching orders from the West are: do whatever you can to co-opt Hamas now rather than wait for an election route in the next year’s time.
    But then, how to explain Laura Rozen’s suggestion that Suleiman was in Washington last week not to soften U.S. resistance to a Palestinian unity government, but in fact, to encourage Washington to remain steadfast in its opposition??? Bottom line, I think Steve is right, all the key players involved realize that now is the time to be in Washington lobbying for their interests because policy has yet to reify.
    And my last take… Does Syria get a U.S. Ambassador back as a reward for getting Hamas to the table in Egypt? Or do they have to wait until after Lebanese elections in June? Maybe Hamas’s willingness to negotiate is not to achieve unity but simply to please their Syrian benefactors. If that’s the case, good luck to Fatah come April.

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  22. JohnH says:

    Mr. Murder–you are following a fascinating story on Diebold and its weird but plausible connection to subversion by the oil companies and the banking industry. I’d be interested in elaboration and any supporting links you could provide.

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  23. Mr.Murder says:

    A final note, the same money trail hardened its standing using vote counting discrepencies into the LA, TX and Arkansas energy belt.
    Diebold/ES&S hardened vote flips to make certain they controlled offices tasked with key items re: American drilling sites. The Cobell v. Norton case comes to mind as one example of energy futures being tasked a district whose office flipped vote totals while a prosecution was underway.
    The same lobby of oil people is hardening against Obama now in trying to shock any recovery attempt over a tax rebate for well drilling.
    In essence they are claiming to take out 300,000 USA oil supplier/service jobs in the process, most of this coming from publicly owned land and the sweetheart lease rights given away upon them.
    Flip the item. Take the new infrastructure banks and federal dollars to drill the same land since the people of America own the lease rights land. Push this extra fuel into the strategic petroleum reserve for military items, bus fleets, civil work. My state has a budget suprlus to pool alongside matching funds as well.
    Suddenly you have placed enormous back pressure on the market and cut out the middle man on any supposed retail markup. School budgets can cover some costs better, more cops can be driving at affordable prices, the work done by civil government becomes better in quality. Oh, the economy there booms as well.
    This would in essence develop a TVA for American fuel drilling, and allow us to channel said investments in American technology. My state district has a ton of oil subservice producers and is undergoing massive layoffs. There’s no reason to do that. The pricing of oil is high enough right now to cover any deal. Especially since loan interest is still abnormally below the levels of the boom years when Clinton was actually President.
    A buck fifty is the level that oil drillers salivate over, we’re far past that amount. Any time the price is even franctionally above that it is drilling heyday time. Anything else reeks of collusion, no stranger to the seven sisters market.
    Those jobs would be very high paying as well. Cutting some of the top graft and retail excess could put fuel pricing in provider states to new levels that make them far more competitive than some outsorucing targets.
    Time for change. We’ll play by new rules.

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  24. JohnH says:

    Amazing that Shtayyeh is still allowed to walk the streets. Preaching Palestinian unity runs directly counter to Israel’s policies of divide, conquer and ethnically cleanse.
    I hope you wished him well. A 500# bomb may be directed at him and his family any time now…

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  25. Mr.Murder says:

    As for an infrastructure bank, the idea seems like one that is great until you realize diebold is only that much closer to morphing its banking and vote counting dominance.
    Nobody has mentioned diebold’s role in banking transactions and how this directly correlates the fiscal implosion of America. Time for DoJ to look closer at voting discrepancies as a way of turning up the heat.
    Do a parallel investigation of the various fiscal outrages and look directly at who handled the transactions.
    Follow the money.

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  26. Mr.Murder says:

    OT item, but one that needs mention.
    Obama’s supposed terrible budget is being demonized. It is plotted along the untenable path of Bushco. revenues from said taxation levels.
    He added WAR SPENDING to the regular budget and you now see the results of tax cuts for billionaires.
    Perhaps he could point this fact out when making these various appearances trying to develop traction for his policy and budget. Bush was actually ignoring obligations, skipping payments, and mounting a deficit. Look closer, Obama is probably saving money on budget items in discretionary and domestic categories, and also in war spending, but people see the number amassed as a total that Bushco. presented as slices of spending, instead of the entire pie.
    As for the mideast process, he simply needs to sweeten the deal in normalization with Palestenian leaders. This is Northern Ireland on steroids.
    New assurances that will strenghen development that provides basis for unity. That accelerates the peace process. The collateral result is that peace eases much of the concerns that peg energy futures to events in the region.
    That will help speed up the economy here every bit as much as we help there.

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  27. questions says:

    The smart thing to do here is for Hamas to allow itself to be brought back in with some mild kicking and screaming, some social service concessions, and some kind of mandatory paid schooling for those most likely to become suicide bombers independently of any organized effort — say, all males ages 15-25 or so, and and females who might head that direction as well. Get people busy, off the streets, involved in building rather than destroying. If Israel has no Palestinian threat that is visible to the world, if Hamas takes away those “optics,” then Hamas ends up in a stronger position, Israel looks positively beastly, and world sentiment turns from Israel ever more.
    The time is ripe for Palestinian unity, for building, rebuilding, dedicating the nation to granola (questions-speak for all the really nice stuff there is in the world.) The goal should be to make Israel look really wicked to itself, to the world at large, to any deity that anyone believes in. It’s harder to beat up a rainbow-granola chick than it is to beat up a suicide bomber. And after a while, if you’re beating up on granola people, you start to feel pretty disgusted with yourself. Israelis need to broaden that feeling of disgust, internalize it, and change.
    I hope sincerely that Hamas leaders figure this out and I hope that Fatah leaders show the kind of thinking that Shtayyeh demonstrates in this video.
    In Hegel’s master/slave dialectic, the slave has a chunk of the truth and a profound ability to work in the world, while the master is more dependent than he realizes. Hamas is not without power, and its power is not merely the ability to commit suicide. Master and slave need each other, but they need the relationship to be transformed.

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  28. Kathleen G says:

    Thanks for all you do Steve. Your efforts help bring a deeper understanding of the issues in the middle east. Washington Note is one of the blogs where open dialogue can take place.
    Also appreciate the way in which you ask questions so that the person you are interviewing really has the time to answer. I thought Colbert’s line of questioning with Juan Cole was pathetic. Colbert never allowed Cole to answer the question that he would ask (I know he is a comedian…still let the person answer)
    Again thanks for all you do
    Mohammad Shttayeh sounds like such a reasonable individual. Many of the things that he had to say about Hamas were similar to what Former President had to say just after the Palestinian election. Just before Ros Lehtinen/Lantos/Lieberman and other congress members pushed hard for legislation that would isolate and attempt to corner Hamas.
    Shttayeh Hamas and Fatah “recognition of the state of Israel” did not say the “right” to exist which is understandable
    He also focused on the need to be “inclusive” not “exclusive”
    Steve Clemons “Sources tell me that the US government position on a unity government has not yet fully come together and significant divisions exist between key players on Obama’s staff.’
    Steve just who are those key players that there are divisions between. One could guess but better to know who if possible
    WILL TAKE YOUR POST AND GO LATERAL IN THE BLOG WORLD

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  29. Sand says:

    “SC: …Sources tell me that the US government position on a unity government has not yet fully come together and significant divisions exist between key players on Obama’s staff…”
    An ‘understatement’ I’m sure… but thank you for bringing this interview and information to light. I will also be interested to see what the Europeans are going to do this round of talks? If they take the US lead as usual, or will they actually find a backbone this time and speak out?
    Watch this space. The Israel Lobby and all its operatives in the Democratic Party I’m sure are going ballastic behind the scenes.

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