Olmert has a knack of saying what he thinks the audience wants to hear. Speaking to a group of zionist leaders and activists from the United States he announced that he would be meeting with Abbas later in the month. Condi will also be present to add to the ‘importance’ of the meeting. BUT, there will not be a representative of Hamas present, the Party that was elected to represent the Palestinian people a year ago.
At the meeting he and Condi will stress that a unity government with Hamas would not be in the best interests of the Palestinian people. Of course not, as far as they are concerned continued fighting and eventual civil war is the best thing FOR ISRAEL…. and Abbas can’t see what is happening? Is he blind or just plain stupid??
Reuters just published the following report a few hours ago…

Olmert says will meet Abbas, Rice on Feb 19

Prime minister tells Jewish American leaders that Israel is ready to negotiate with any Palestinian government that recognizes Jewish State, including one with Hamas; says Israel would ‘remain on the sidelines’ of PA infighting

Reuters Published: 02.06.07, 22:27

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Tuesday he would meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Feb. 19 in a renewed bid to revive stalled peace talks.

Olmert told the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem that he was ready to negotiate with any Palestinian government, including one with Hamas, as long as it met Western demands of recognizing the Jewish state.
He did not say where the meeting would take place.

The prime minister said he hoped Abbas, who met with Hamas leaders in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, would not forge a unity government with Hamas that stopped short of meeting the demands to recognize Israel and renounce violence.

‘Hope Abbas resists unity with Hamas’

“I hope that Abu Mazen (Abbas) will resist all the temptations and all the pressures to cooperate with Hamas and to establish a government that does not recognize these basic principles,” Olmert said, referring to guidelines set by the Quartet of the US, United Nations, Europe and Russia.

“If the Palestinian government, no matter who is part of it, will accept the basic principles of the Quartet … then of course it would pave the way for further negotiations with Israel,” he said, and pose a “chance for major progress.”

Abbas’ Fatah movement and the Islamic group Hamas have been locked in a battle for power that has spiraled into violence that has killed 90 people in the Gaza Strip since December.

The fighting erupted after Abbas angered Hamas by calling for early elections when talks to form a unity government failed.

Olmert, commenting for the first time on the Palestinian infighting, said Israel would remain on “the sidelines” for now.

“But we will not be able to stretch our patience beyond a certain limit,” Olmert added, suggesting Israel would take steps to ensure the Gaza violence doesn’t spill over into renewed attacks on the Jewish state.

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