Scores of Palestinians were killed this week in Gaza in factional fighting between loyalists of President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and those of Prime Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas. As if on cue, it took about 24 hours before pundits the world over blamed the violence on Israel and President Bush.
This is the Israel that withdrew from Gaza after a unilateral decision and not demanding anything in return and the Bush who several years ago was calling on Palestinians to "elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror."
However last year they elected Hamas to govern them. This was was not unexpected and .. it is a consequence of the cult of violence that has typified the Palestinian movement for much of its history and which has been tolerated and often celebrated by the international community.
So now Hamas, as puppets of Iran, will have free reign to lob missiles into Israel as they wish. And pressure will surely mount on Israel and the U.S. to accept Hamas's ascendancy and begin negotiations with its leaders.
Eye witnesses have said that Hamas has taken hold of the office of Preventive Security Services which has traditionally been a Fatah stronghold and "They are executing them one by one."
Is it wise to negotiate with a group that kills its fellow Palestinians almost as freely as it does Israelis? And what would there be to negotiate about?
This would simply give Hamas time and money to consolidate its rule and rebuild an arsenal for future terror assaults.
The deeper lesson here is that a society that has spent the last decade celebrating suicide bombing would inevitably become a victim of its own nihilistic impulses. This is not the result of Mr. Bush's call for democratic responsibility; it is the bitter fruit of the decades of dictatorship and terrorism as statecraft that Yasser Arafat instilled among Palestinians.
Read the whole opinion in the Wall Street Journal online at