Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hamas Sends "Gift" to Wedding of Palestinian Authority Official's Nephew: Fifty Injured in Explosion

By Barry Rubin

Muhammad Dahlan’s nephew had a wedding in Khan Younis, Gaza. Dahlan, former commander of Fatah in the Gaza Strip and national security advisor to Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas wasn’t there. A bomb was. At least 50 were injured. Retaliation will no doubt follow in what is a combined ideological struggle and blood feud.

On the West Bank, Fatah and Hamas are fighting a war, kidnapping, and sometimes torturing, each other’s members. Sometimes they assassinate each other’s officials. The truth is that both sides are closer to being gangsters than they are social workers or governmental bureaucrats. Nor, despite all the effort put into it, are these two groups likely ever to unite into one government again, unless Hamas either conquers Fatah or splits it and creates a subordinate faction.

Shall we pretend, then, that there is some united, moderate Palestinian partner for peace who can deliver a two-state solution? Should we make believe that a solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is within sight? Most Western governments seem to think so. Perhaps they have some good reasons for this deception and that’s tolerable—as long as they don’t actually believe it.
Should anyone hold the illusion that Hamas is going to moderate or can in any way be involved in a peace process except by waging terrorism to destroy it? Forget that notion.

Should Israel make concessions and take risks based on the premise that this is going to bring about a comprehensive solution to a conflict that is going to continue for decades? Of course not.

Should Israel maneuver to ensure that the lesser of two evils, Fatah and the PA survive as rulers of the West Bank, to try to find ways to raise West Bank living standards without undue risk to the lives of its own citizens, and to minimize violence between the two sides? Yes, that is good policy.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.