“As a gesture of goodwill towards the Palestinians, I will bring before the Israeli cabinet a proposal to free 250 Fatah prisoners who do not have blood on their hands.”
Again, besides the recurring and bizzare Israeli obsession about “blood” (more on that in a previous post), what is really important here is that Olmert will not release Barghouti.
Considering that Israel holds about 10’000 Palestinian hostages freeing 250 of them is really utterly meaningless (unless you are one of them, of course). Moreover, refusing to free Barghouti even though this is what Abbas officially demanded is truly a slap in Abbas’ face by his Imperial masters.
I would argue that freeing these 250 is actually *worse* than not freeing any of them. The message this sends is that “we don’t care in the least about what you need, all we care about is what we want”. I am sure that the message will be received loud and clear by all Palestinians.
My guess is that Abbas’ political future, which was never stellar to begin with, is now even in worse shape that 24 hours ago and that he will gradually have to manifest signs of frustrations with Israel.
The real questions is: will he, unlike Olmert, have the lucidity to accept Hamas’ numerous offers of negotiations?