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Give new coalition a chance

THE GOVERNMENT WAS very quick to recognize the new Palestinian coalition. ... That was wise, bold and visionary. There was a clear understanding of the importance of seizing an opportunity. ...

The Palestinians’ coalition had a slow birth. It many ways, it was forced by the catastrophic economic, humanitarian and security conditions in Palestinian areas, as well as pressure from Arab countries. We also know that this new government has built-in conflicts that can quickly lead to paralysis and crisis.

But we are convinced that the new coalition needs a chance. ...

Israel, the United States and several major EU countries believe the coalition did not go far enough in fulfilling demands on the Palestinians. We disagree. The platform says that agreements already entered between Israel and Palestinians will be respected. ...

We believe it would be yet another political blunder by the Bush administration if it once again rejects a government the Palestinians themselves have negotiated. There are limits on the condescending disenfranchising of a people.

Recognition of a government, of course, does not mean that one agrees with all it does. We have few illusions about Hamas and its intentions. But we are convinced that a continued international boycott will just stimulate fundamental and radical forces that will always oppose any peace settlement.

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