The Jerusalem Post has reported that the Palestinian Authority is planning on creating a new Parliament, one which would govern the West Bank and presumably be dominated by PA chief Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, as opposed to the Hamas-dominated parliament now ruling over Gaza. This would be a huge step towards the formal separation of the two territories into two different regimes, which they have already become de facto.
Why does it feel like the media and Western leaders live in an alternate universe? President Bush just visited Israel, and Olmert and Abbas both declared the beginning of final-status talks and negotiation over “core” issues. But who are the Israelis negotiating with? To much fanfare, Israel has now undertaken to engage in a protracted negotiation, make “painful concessions,” such as dividing Jerusalem and relocating hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes, all with the aim of signing a final, long-awaited full-fledged peace agreement–with half the Palestinians. The other half declare jihad, arm themselves, lob missiles into Israeli cities, and proudly make themselves into an extension of Iranian power and hostility in the region. What an ingenious way to make simultaneous peace and war: Split into two different states.