Wednesday, June 8

The Pullout

The future pullout is a two-edged sword pointing at the underbelly of Israel. Whatever happens, there does not seem to be any indication that the firing of Qassam rockets will cease irrespective of disengagement or not.

Abu Mazen does not seem to be able to have the ability to reign in the extremists. He has postponed the Palestinian elections because he knows that his Fatah Party is losing support in favor of Hamas whose uncompromising attitude towards Israel's existence is well known.

One cannot underestimate the importance of Hamas as key players in the future of the success or failure of disengagement. While the logic of transferring the settlers from Gush Katif and the Gaza Strip to within the green line is sound as they are a source of friction with the Palestinians because of their close proximity. Whether the Palestinians, according to Ayalon will perceive Israel's withdrawal from Gaza as an act of choice or flight is irrelevant. What is important is whether there will be escalation of terror after the disengagement.

If there is no further momentum towards withdrawal from the occupied territories after disengagement, the chances of terror will increase. The firing of Qassam rockets into Ashkelon is a strong possibility. If this scenario occurs, the Israel Security forces will return to Gaza very soon.

However, if there is a chance of peace and the cease-fire maintained, Israel should return territory and help the Palestinians economically so that they can receive a viable state.


Anonymous said...

While I believe as you do that the Palestinians need their own state, Hamas, unless it is willing to declare an end to its usual posture--destroy Israel--seems not a partner to negotiate with. The Arab League might initiate things by ending its long-standing anti-Israel recognition position in advance and saying this will be effective with an accord reached between Israel and the Palestinians..

Yoel.Ben-Avraham said...

"Israel should return territory and help the Palestinians economically so that they can receive a viable state."

And just what did Oslo attempt to achieve? It empowered the 'Palestinians', helped them achieve the highest per capita income they have experienced in recorded history (and certainly higher than any neighbouring country). What did we receive for the effort? Four and a half years of bloodshed.

When are you going to start reading THEIR press and listening to THEIR radio instead of listening to the wishes and dreams of your own heart?

Yoel Ben-Avraham

zac said...

To yba,

There is no question that many of the problems, apart from the basic existential problem that Israel has had with her Arab neighbours since her establishment,is due to the encouragement of settlements in the occupied territories after the Six Day War of June 1967. Had Israel held these territories without encouraging settlement, her accusers could not say that Israel colonizes Palestinian lands. Israel's credibility as a victim of Arab aggression is weak because of the establishment of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories after the Six Day War.

We are all aware of the Khartoum Resolutions of September 1967:

"In the wake of the Arab defeat, eight Arab heads of state attended an Arab summit conference in Khartoum, Sudan held August 29 - September 1, 1967. It formulated the Arab consensus that underlay the official policies of most Arab states for the next two decades and beyond, with the exception of Egypt: " no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it."

This attitude by the Arab states was seen by Israel as a green light for her to encourage settlement beyond the green line.

This policy was a grave mistake. In retrospect, Israel could have held onto these territories for use as a bargaining chip for negotiations with her Arab enemies in the future.

Had Israel developed the conquered territories by improving the infra-structure and the lot of the Palestinians there, it would have been a less complicated problem to return the territories as part of a peace settlement.At least the Palestinian people would not have been so weak and disgruntled. The conditions for the blossoming of Hamas terrorists and their allies would have been less likely.Now we have the disengagement with the transferring of settlers back within the green line. It will not stop there as more territory will undoubtedly be returned in stages. The expense will be astronomical and even after that, there is no peace guarantee.

The Oslo Accords of 1993 were a stalemate before it even began. There was no movement towards peace on the ground by any of the sides for a number of reasons. Arafat's posturing was not helpful to say the least as he was not gearing his people psychologically for peace nor was there any movement on the ground in that direction.He was also engaged in warlike rhetoric against Israel. Arafat and his croneys were lining their own pockets at the expense of their people. The settlements remained and these settlers were beoming more vulnerable to Palestinian terror which spread into Israel in the form of the suicide bomber.

Fred, I agree with your assessment.Hamas, who stands a good chance of winning election to the Palestinian Legeslative Assembly, will have to cease being a racist terrorist organization before Israel can view it as a peace partner.