Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Palestinian factions announce broken record

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New New York Times Middle East Correspondent Judy Rudoren wrote yesterday that:

The rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed an agreement late Sunday in Cairo that paves the way for elections and a new unity government for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, officials said.

If that sounds a little fimiliar, that's because it is. Her predecessor, Ethan Bronnor, wrote in April last year that:

The two main Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, announced Wednesday that they were putting aside years of bitter rivalry to create an interim unity government and hold elections within a year, a surprise move that promised to reshape the diplomatic landscape of the Middle East.

Similar announcements were made in June last year and February this year, none of them seem to have been followed by a unity Government.

If there is a record for how many times something can be announced without being implemented, Fatah and Hamas are surely set to break it soon.

The Palestinian unity agreement is becoming the political version of the never-ending drama over the Guns N' Roses album Chinese Democracy -- everyone predicted that it would be horrible, but it took 12 years to come out anyway.

Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz