Thursday, June 21, 2007
By Haaretz Editorial
"......Fatah's moderate leadership is in a serious crisis. Israel's interest calls for its consolidation, albeit after outrageous delays, and no one matches Barghouti's ability to achieve that. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's promises in Washington that Israel would be willing to take "far-reaching" measures to assist the Palestinian Authority's emergency government must be backed by immediate action. Releasing prisoners is the first step one should demand of anyone who promises such steps......
The prime minister's statements must not remain empty words - especially not now, when a practical opportunity for dialogue with a moderate Palestinian leadership has presented itself. Now that Gaza has fallen into Hamas' hands, no effort should be spared in the attempt to salvage the West Bank from extremists. Barghouti as a free leader could greatly assist in achieving that."