— A suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, conducted during Passover and involving more casualties than any similar mission for more than a year, is an atrocity and a political event of enormous importance. That it follows recent parliamentary elections in the Palestinian Authority and Israel increases the salience of the matter.
— Mahmoud Abbas, who condemned it as a “terrorist attack,” has been rendered a principally ceremonial individual after his Fatah party was beaten at the polls by Hamas in January.
— The instant declaration of a spokesman for the Hamas-controlled Ministry of the Interior was that the blast was a “legitimate” response to the situation that the Palestinians are in and that no remorse, let alone any regret, would be forthcoming. This is hardly the basis for dialogue.
— Israel’s interim prime minister should seek to target the political and “military” representatives of Hamas rather than the Palestinian population in whose name they choose to speak and to endorse appalling violence.
— Other states must comply with civilized standards in what they demand of Israel. To suggest that Mr. Olmert has talks with an administration that cannot bring itself to repudiate terrorism with any sincerity is utterly incredible.