Israel News | Zionism Israel Center | Zionism History | Zionism Definitions | ZioNation | Forum | Zionism FAQ | Maps| Edit

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Opportunities and dangers in Gaza and the West Bank

The barbaric cataclysm of the Gaza Palestinian "government" is the logical culmination of a long culture of legitimation of violent "resistance." It is a tragedy for the Palestinian people and a cause for worry for Israel. Less than fifty miles from my home, people are being thrown off buildings and executed in front of their families. It is certainly not a cause for celebration. We can't let that dark chaos spread, and the world cannot leave Gaza in the hands of the Hamas indefinitely. We can't use the barbarism of Gaza as an excuse to slam the door on prospects of peace forever. On the contrary it may provide an opportunity for peace, if the followers of the Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas are willing to draw the appropriate lessons from the results of legitimation of "resistance" and glorification of hate: evil cannot be focused and directed. It spreads to all of society. In Gaza, a Palestinian about to be dragged to his death by Hamas fanatics protested, "But we are not Jews." Once the genie of terror and genocide is out of the box, it refuses to remain an obedient genie, killing only Jews.
Those who insist on "Justice for Palestine" got a preview of what that "Justice" would look like. A Hamas spokesperson explained that the carnage was "Islamic Justice."
It is time for all the groups of terrorists, militants, resistance fighters or whatever they might be called: Fatah Al Aqsa and the Fatah this and the Fatah that and the Popular Resistance and the National and Islamic front and the Islamic Jihad and the Hamas, to put away their guns, quit their rhetoric about "Zio-Nazis" and their boycott campaigns and their plans to "liberate" Tel Aviv and Haifa and settle Palestinian refugees in Herzliya Pituach, and all the other paraphernalia of "resistance," and make a reasoned plea for a really just peace.
Arafat's Children  from the Wall Street journal warns against negotiating with the Hamas, which seems to be a fairly obvious warning following the events of the past week. The argument that the Hamas was "democratically elected" fails to pass muster. The brutal violence of Gaza could not take place in a democracy. The Hamas coup is a demonstration of what Islamist groups mean when they say they will take power by democratic means. Of course, there cannot be democracy in a society of armed groups, any more than there could be democracy in the Mafia.
However, a more realistic danger is that Israel may be pressured to make unwise concessions in order to support Mahmoud Abbas's government in the West Bank. There is an opportunity for negotiations and understanding, but past experience also shows how easily that opportunity can turn into disaster.
What is a "wise" concession that will bring peace as opposed to an unwise one?
Here is my list of some wise concessions at this point:
Final status negotiations
Release of tax funds held by Israel, provided the new government can demonstrate transparency.
A freeze on settlement expansion
Removing illegal outposts
Release of some prisoners who are old or who have committed minor offences. However, prisoners must still be held against the release of Gilad Shalit in Gaza.
Security roadblocks to be lifted gradually as long as there is no terror and in return for disarming of non-government militia.
An end to IDF incursions in the West Bank, conditioned on surrender of wanted men. They can console themselves that spending time in Israeli jails is better than being thrown off a roof in Gaza.
Here are some not wise concessions in my opinion:
Removing Israeli security checkpoints without Palestinians disarming of armed groups
Evacuating settlements in the absence of security guarantees
Making any concession in principle as long as there are armed groups and the Palestinian authority is not doing anything to disarm and contain them
Ceding any territory or sovereignty to an authority that cannot control its own society

Below is the Wall Street Journal editorial.
Ami Isseroff

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Gaza's mayhem is the bitter fruit of terror as statecraft.

Scores of Palestinians were killed this week in Gaza in factional fighting between loyalists of President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and those of Prime Minister 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 dismantled its settlements in Gaza in August 2005, a unilateral concession for which it asked, and got, nothing in return. And it is the U.S. President who, in a landmark speech five years ago this month, called on Palestinians to "elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror." Had Palestinians done so, they could be living today in a peaceful, independent state. Instead, in January 2006 they freely handed the reins of government to Hamas in parliamentary elections. What is happening today is the result of that choice--their choice.

That election didn't simply emerge from a vacuum, however. 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. If Palestinians now think they can advance their domestic interests by violence, nobody should be surprised: The way of the gun has been paying dividends for 40 years.

In 1972 Palestinian terrorists murdered Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. Yet only two years later Yasser Arafat addressed the U.N.'s General Assembly--the first non-government official so honored. In 1970 Arafat attempted to overthrow Jordan's King Hussein and tried to do the same a few years later in Lebanon. Yet in 1980, the European Community, in its Venice Declaration, recognized Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization as a legitimate negotiating partner.
In 1973, the National Security Agency recorded Arafat's telephoned instructions to PLO terrorists to murder Cleo Noel, the U.S. ambassador in Sudan, and his deputy George Curtis Moore. Yet in 1993, Arafat was welcomed in the White House for the signing of the Oslo Accords with Israel. That same year, the British National Criminal Intelligence Service reported that the PLO made its money from "extortion, payoffs, illegal arms-dealing, drug trafficking, money laundering and fraud." Yet over the next several years, the Palestinian Authority would become the largest single recipient of foreign aid on a per capita basis.
In 1996, after he had formally renounced terrorism in the Oslo Accords, Arafat told a rally in Gaza that "we are committed to all martyrs who died for the cause of Jerusalem starting with Ahmed Musa until the last martyr Yihye Ayyash"--Musa being the first PLO terrorist to be killed in 1965 and Ayyash being the Hamas mastermind of a series of suicide bombings in which scores of Israeli civilians were killed. Yet the Clinton Administration continued to pretend that Arafat was an ally in the fight against Hamas. In 2000, Arafat rejected an Israeli offer of statehood midwifed by President Clinton and instead initiated the bloody intifada that left 1,000 Israelis and 3,000 Palestinians dead.
In 2005, only months after Arafat's death, Israel dismantled its settlements and withdrew its forces from the Gaza Strip. Palestinians have used the opportunity to intensify their rocket fire at civilian targets within Israel. Last month, Israeli security services arrested two Gazan women, one of them pregnant, who were planning to enter Israel on medical pretexts in order to carry out suicide attacks. Yet the same month, the World Bank issued a report faulting Israel for restricting Palestinian freedom of movement.
Now it appears Hamas has taken control of the Gaza Strip's main road and its border with Egypt, as well as the offices of the so-called Preventive Security Services, traditionally a Fatah stronghold. "They are executing them one by one," a witness told the Associated Press of Hamas's reprisals against the Preventive Security personnel.

We do not pretend to know where all this will lead. On Thursday, Mr. Abbas dissolved the government and declared a state of emergency, though he seems powerless to change the course of events in Gaza. Israel could conceivably intervene, as could Egypt, and both states have powerful reasons to prevent the emergence of a Hamastan with close links to Iran hard on their borders. But neither do they wish to become stuck in the Strip's bottomless factionalism and fanaticism.

At the same time, pressure will surely mount on Israel and the U.S. to accept Hamas's ascendancy and begin negotiations with its leaders. According to this reasoning, the Bush Administration cannot demand democracy of the Palestinians and then refuse to recognize the results of a democratic election.

But leave aside the fact that Mr. Bush did not simply call for an election: 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? The best-case scenario--a suspension of hostilities in exchange for renewed international funding--would simply give Hamas time and money to consolidate its rule and rebuild an arsenal for future terror assaults. Then, too, the last thing the Palestinians need is yet further validation from the wider world that the violence they now inflict so indiscriminately works.

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.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe to
email newsletter for this site and others

Powered by

Feedblitz subcription
To this Blog only

You can receive our articles by e-mail. For a free subscription, please enter your e-mail address:

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Web Logs & Sites

This Site

Zionism & Israel
Zionation Web Log
IMO Web Log (Dutch)

ZI Group
Zionism-Israel Pages
Israël-Palestina.Info (Dutch & English)
Israƫl in de Media
MidEastWeb Middle East News and Views
MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log

Brave Zionism
Israel: Like this, as if
Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog

Friends and Partners
EinNews Israel
Israel Facts
Israel Proud Adam Holland
Middle East Analysis
Irene Lancaster's Diary
Middle East Analysis
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israel Facts (NL)
Cynthia's Israel Adventure
Jeff Weintraub Commentaries and controversies
Meretz USA Weblog
Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers
Simply Jews
Fresno Zionism
Anti-Racist Blog
Sharona's Week
Z-Word Blog
Jewish State
Take A Pen - Israel Advocacy
Zionism on the Web
ZOTW's Zionism and Israel News
Zionism On The Web News
ZOTW's Blogs
Christian Attitudes
Dr Ginosar Recalls
Questions: Zionism anti-Zionism Israel & Palestine
Southern Wolf
Peace With Realism
Sanda's Place
Liberal for Israel
Realistic Dove
Blue Truth
Point of no Return
Christians Standing With Israel
Christians Standing With Israel - Blog

Encylopedic Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
Middle East Encyclopedia
Zionism and its Impact
Zionism & the creation of Israel
Zionism - Issues & answers
Maps of Israel
Christian Zionism Resources
Christian Zionism
Albert Einstein
Gaza & the Qassam Victims of Sderot
Zionist Quotes
Six Day War
Jew Hatred
Learn Hebrew
Arab-Israeli Conflict
International Zionism

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Israel Boycott
Boycott Israel?
Amnesty International Report on Gaza War
Boycott Israel?
Dutch Newspaper Reporting: A Study of NRC Handelsblad
Hamas (Dutch)
Dries van Agt (Dutch)
Isfake lobby

At Zionism On the Web
Articles on Zionism
Anti-Zionism Information Center
Academic boycott of Israel Resource Center
The anti-Israel Hackers
Antisemitism Information Center
Zionism Israel and Apartheid
Middle East, Peace and War
The Palestine state
ZOTW Expert Search
ZOTW Forum

Judaica & Israel Gifts
Jewish Gifts: Judaica:
Ahava Products

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

RSS V 1.0

International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory