I suggest that you take that very seriously, though Arlene Kushner's From Israel gives it a "comic twist," making me think that we're being governed by Politics of the Absurd!
An interesting occurance today was the release of a statement Mahmoud Abbas made to an Italian paper that amounted to an
endorsement of Olmert.
In short order then, we saw the following (almost a whole day's entertainment):
-- Furious Labor officials said, "Abbas screwed us over!" (I am not making this up -- these were the exact words on YNet.) Just days ago Peretz had met with Abbas and everything was sweetness and light. Labor expected that endorsement.
From where I sit, an endorsement by Abbas is a fairly ludicrous thing to covet. All depends on perspective, I guess. The unspoken implication, of course, is that while all those big bad Hamas people try to take over the PA gov't, there is still good old moderate Abbas, and the party that
can work well with him will be on the correct side of things. Of course,
Abbas is no moderate at all, and the Hamas people are where they
are now in part because Abbas not only would not take them on, but invited them to join the political process. Things just got out of hand, that's all.
-- A delighted Likud then came out with a statement saying that Abbas's endorsement shows he knows that Kadima is to the left of
Labor and Meretz (that's pretty far left these days), and that Olmert will give the most to Hamas without asking anything in return.
-- A horrified Olmert then told the Post that an Abbas endorsement would hurt him.
-- And a repentant Abbas said, Endorsement? There was no endorsement intended. All he said was that he knew Olmert and knew he could work with him, and so was hoping he would win. But the Israeli people have to decide. He wasn't endorsing him.
As they say in America:
"Have a nice day."