The United States and European Union pledged on Monday to lift an economic and diplomatic embargo imposed on the Palestinian Authority in March 2006 when Hamas rose to power and refused to drop its refusal to recognize Israel.Israel is making noises about working with the situation instead of simply defending against it.
As an initial gesture, Olmert has promised to release Palestinian tax revenues withheld since Hamas came to power. He said after the White House talks he would ask his cabinet at its next meeting on Sunday to approve the release of the funds.Palestinians are not of the disposition to trust this.
Fatah leaders question Olmert's willingness to negotiate with them. Abbas's national security chief, Mohammad Dahlan, told Reuters on Tuesday: "Israel is releasing money not because they are honorable but they just want to entrench the divide between the West Bank and Gaza."Leaders are attempting to form and mold the molten material that is the Middle East. There will be a new sculpture when they're done, and I, for one, am curious to see what it will be shaped like. Will it be all harmonious curves, or all jagged, sharp edges? Of course I expect the final product to be a combination of both, but I'm hoping for a structure that has enough smooth surfaces for many to grasp without hurting themselves any more than they already have been.
Who would have thought that more fighting would give me hope? Who would have thought that after everything that's happened lately in both the broader world and in my own private life that I'd remain an optimist?