Roger L. Simon

A Note of Optimism in a Horrible Time

What with the catastrophe in New Orleans and the bridge disaster in Iraq, it’s hard to believe that good things can happen… and this one may clearly be ephemeral… but Pakistan, of all places, is apparently making gestures of rapprochement toward Israel. From the Associated Press:

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khursheed Kasuri said that ”Pakistan attaches great importance to Israel ending its occupation of Gaza. Pakistan has therefore decided to engage Israel.”

A Pakistani Foreign Ministry official in Islamabad said full diplomatic relations weren’t imminent adding that the meeting in Turkey would help gauge public reaction in Pakistan.

”They are moving slowly. … First they want to end the taboo” of discussing relations with Israel, said the official. He spoke on condition of anonymity as he wasn’t authorized to comment to journalists.

The meeting was held at the Fours Seasons Hotel, a former Ottoman prison, not far from Topkapi Palace. Security was extremely tight with Turkish and Israeli security officials searching bags and even disassembling photographers’

Of course the usual suspects are already up in arms. But this being discussed in public would previously have been anathema.