Could the Palestinians finally be figuring out how to get what they want? We hope that the Palestinian militant groups who say they are suspending attacks on Israel for a while actually do so. We hope that suspension takes hold, and leads to a long-term cease-fire in the Mideast.
Unlike his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, Abbas is cracking down on violence. He has ordered Palestinian security forces to fan out in northern Gaza to prevent militants from firing their homemade rockets and mortars at the Israelis. And Abbas is now negotiating with groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades. He is apparently closing in on a commitment from Hamas and Islamic Jihad for a monthlong truce.
If this truce does indeed take hold, it will be by far the second smartest thing â€” after electing Abbas â€” that the Palestinians have done in years. From the start of the intifada, back in 2000, Abbas warned that it was counterproductive.
Palestinian violence cost the Palestinians something they dearly need if they will ever get a state they can live with: US support. So here we are, back at square one. But this time, the man at the helm on the Palestinian side is so far making all the right moves. After years of shooting themselves in the foot, it would be nice to see the Palestinians start playing the game like people who expect to win. â€”The New York Times