Bibi Encourages Olmert to Meet Abbas, by Gil Hoffman (Jerusalem Post)
For those of you who thought that Bibi was any different, smarter, better in self-image or better for the Jews, this should pretty well nail that coffin shut. MB
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert received a surprising endorsement on Thursday for his plan to meet in upcoming days with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu feels the same way.
Olmert told Army Radio he would meet with Abbas regardless of whether kidnapped Cpl. Gilad Shalit was released, because Abbas supported releasing Shalit.
Netanyahu told the radio station that if he were prime minister, he would also meet with Abbas.
“The dramatic change that has occurred is the development of an alliance of extremists against the alliance of moderates to which we belong,” he said. “I would try to create a diplomatic process that would initiate an alliance between us and the Palestinians, but for this to happen, Hamas must fall.”
Netanyahu said the best way to strengthen Abbas was to bring about the downfall of the Hamas government in the PA. He said giving land to the Palestinians would strengthen Hamas and not Abbas.
Sources close to Netanyahu later downplayed his remarks, saying the downfall of Hamas would have to come before negotiations with the Palestinians. Netanyahu’s rivals in the Likud accused him of shifting leftward for political reasons.
“Netanyahu’s presentation of the terrorist Abu Mazen [Abbas] as a moderate is a repeat of his handshake with former Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat,” the Likud’s Manhigut Yehudit forum said. “That handshake destroyed the nationalist camp and gave legitimacy to the Oslo process. Now again, when everyone knows there is no partner and the survival of Israel is at stake, Netanyahu is giving a certificate of kashrut to the enemy.”