The much-ballyhooed "truce" between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is completely meaningless, because the thugs in Hamas have already rejected it.
Still, it's worth noting why the recent talks between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon went so smoothly this time around:
Mohammed Gohar, an Egyptian commentator who helped build the first professional media contacts with Israel...pointed to the absence of longtime Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who died in November, as a key factor in changing the atmosphere. "It's civilized, for a change," he said. "It never happened like this before."Who'd have guessed it -- Arafat really was the problem all along! Talk about your plot twists!
Mark Sofer of the Israeli Foreign Ministry said he had attended many summits but felt a palpable change in atmosphere at Tuesday's meeting.
"This is definitely different," Sofer said. "Something basic has changed. The Palestinian leadership has undergone a major sea change in their psychology. Now, they have the best interests of the Palestinians at heart."
Anyway, now that he's gone, it's great that Sharon and Abbas are making progress. And it's too bad that Hamas doesn't care.