Tuesday, July 19

The Triangle

Much is happening these days on all sides of the conflict, which is between Palestinians pitted against Israelis and Israelis pitted against one another. The scenario is unbelievable - almost surrealistic! The pro-disengagement establishment is confronting the extreme right wing anti-disengagement groups. The vacuum created allows Israeli security to be compromised to a certain extent as witnessed when a suicide bomber succeeded in infiltrating and blowing himself up in Netanya – killing five people and wounding countless others.

While this is happening, Hamas and Company are having a field day launching Kassam rockets and mortars into Shderot within the green line and the various settlements in Gush Katif. This is the one corner of the triangle. The second corner is the opposition of the right wing against disengagement that is tying up Israel's police force and the army to maintain order and prevent illegal demonstrations. The third corner of the triangle is the attempted infiltration of Palestinian terrorists because of the vacuum created by the lawlessness of the anti-disengagement movement under the orders of right wing rabbis, which threatens security of Israel's citizens. Overall, the country is drifting into a rather odd form of anarchy as each corner of the triangle does its own thing.

Danny Rubinstein, raised an important point in an article in Haaretz. Hamas and their Allies will continue to do their utmost to upset the applecart of disengagement. The reason is, as Danny Rubinstein correctly pointed out, that the corrupt Palestinian Authority will not share the lands evacuated with Hamas. It will be in their (Hamas) interest not to have disengagement at all under these conditions even if it means sabotaging the disengagement process.

Maybe from their point of view there is logic about this tactic. Arik Sharon has stated that there will be no unilateral disengagement. This will play into the hands of Hamas and Company. It is a matter of them cutting off their noses to spite their faces. As far as Hamas is concerned, let there be no disengagement if they cannot enjoy the results of the spoils. They will be able to accuse Israel of not complying with agreements reached and they with the Palestinian delegation will go squealing to the UN accusing Israel of prolonging the occupation and not keeping their word about disengagement. This will create a certain unity between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

From the Palestinian point of view, it is Hamas who had been more active in terror than the other factions, including Fatah. They feel entitled to being part of policymaking in the Palestinian Legislative Council. It is very doubtful if Mahmoud Abbas will give in to their demands at decision-making. Hamas and Company see themselves as being responsible for winning the battle against the occupation by having Israel under Arik Sharon approving disengagement.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have the opposition to the disengagement whose several thousand supporters are now encamped in Kfar Maimon on their way to Gush Katif. The police and army have surrounded their encampment. It is an uncanny situation now. Those who oppose disengagement, as well as Hamas and company, wish to do their utmost to ensure that disengagement does not take place – each for their own partisan reasons. Both extremist groups are really two sides of the same coin of self-destruction. The right wing, under the influence of their inciting rabbis, is a threat to democracy in Israel. These rabbis are not showing any leadership qualities by encouraging their flock not to obey the laws of the land. Judaism has now become the monopoly of the right wing under the leadership of fanatic rabbis.

Those who oppose the disengagement are destroying the country that nurtured them. They are creating a schism that will serve the interests of the Palestinian terrorist groups. While the security forces are involved in maintaining law and order in the anti-disengagement camp, the terrorists will continue with their attempts to infiltrate Israel as Israel's underbelly becomes more exposed.

The fact that so many Israeli soldiers have fallen in their line of duty protecting the Gush Katif settlers does not seem to make any impression on the right wing. They are obsessed with the idea of remaining in the Gaza Strip at all costs.

If sanity does not return to this part of the world and incitement between the various parties does not cease, this includes the extremists in both Israeli and Palestinian Camps, we shall have more bloodshed in the future as the poor chances of a peaceful settlement becomes even dimmer.

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