Saturday, January 3, 2009

“Mission Accomplished”

Let's assume what Israel thinks is the best case scenario. The ground offensive, which started a few hours ago, is a relatively temporary one. Hamas is dealt a crippling below. The rocket fire stops. The Palestinian Authority, i.e. Fatah, returns to Gaza. Mohammed Abbas is installed in Gaza.

Then what?

The answer is relatively straightforward. For Israel's southern territory to breathe free again, Israel needs an agreement with SOMEBODY. Neither it nor Egypt has any desire to administer Gaza directly. If it allows a Fatah-led Palestinian Authority to govern, that government must have the ability and the resolve to control the Islamist elements. The chances of that are next to nil.

The only real chance for Israel accomplishing its mission is for Hamas to reinvent itself as something kinder and gentler. The chances of that are next to nil.

What this means is that, in the best case scenario, Hamas will be hit hard, regroup and rearm, this time in a more deadly manner. To eliminate that possiblity – and one can – Israel has to ethnically cleanse Gaza by driving away or murdering hundreds of thousands of potential recruits. It won't do that.





Y. Ben-David said...

For the sake of variety on your site, I, as a "right-wing, Orthodox/Religious pro-Judea/Samaria settler" Israeli will tell you what I think will happen eventually:
Your analysis is correct for the short term. This war will lead to nothing, no improvement. It is not meant to...the only reason it was carried out was to help Kadima and Labor in the next election. Don't be shocked at such a suggestion of cynicism on the part of this "Peace Camp" government, recall that Israeli Nobel-Peace-Prize-Winning Prime Minister in 1996, Shimon Peres, while running for re-election as Prime Minister, set off a war in Lebanon in order to "look tough", just as Olmert did in 2006 and now Barak is doing....thinking this would boost their popularity. In Peres' case it failed, just as Olmert failed in 2006. Now Barak is trying. Thus, this war is not meant to settle anything.
What will eventuall happen , but not this time, is that Israel will reconquer the entire Gaza Strip, rebuild Gush Katif and then there will be peace because when Israel left Gaza in 2005, this left a vacuum in Eretz Israel which can only be filled by the Jewish people returning and rebuilding it. I don't know when this will happen , but it is inevitable, because only this will neutralize Gaza as a threat.

Pretty fanatical of me, Jerry, isn't it?

Jerry Haber said...

Y. Ben-David,

I'll up you one. Why not let Israel annex the Gaza strip, rebuild Gush Katif, and offer the Palestinians citizenship in Israel? Nobody has asked them yet whether they would accept it. Maybe they would.

Anyway, you left out of your scenario the question of the political fate of the Gazans. I assume that Israel would administer the Gaza Strip, on your scenario -- Egypt doesn't want to do so. What would you do with the Gazans?

If you say "make them hewers of wood and drawers of water" then I will consider you "fanatical"!

Anonymous said...

All the pretty posing and dancing around will never change the FACTS. Muslim fundamentalists are cowards and barbarians. They strike at children and civilians from behind the skirts of their schoolchildren or the walls of their pseudo-mosques. There can be no peace in the Middle East and no freedom from terrorism in the rest of the world until the last of these savages has been sent to "paradise."
Kill them all and let Allah sort them out!

Jerry Haber said...

Anonymous, thanks for your illuminating comment.

It sure takes a lot of courage to bomb mosques and houses from F-16s. I mean, just think of all those sophisticated Hamas anti-aircraft missiles, not to mention exposing yourself to the Hamas air force.

Gibborim al halashim, as they say in Hebrew

Y. Ben-David said...

"Jerry", you asked a common question that "progressives" ask all the time:
Anyway, you left out of your scenario the question of the political fate of the Gazans. I assume that Israel would administer the Gaza Strip, on your scenario -- Egypt doesn't want to do so. What would you do with the Gazans?

The implication is that as long as there is an Arab ruling over other Arabs, they have "democracy" or "self-rule" or "self-determination". But, really, how many Arabs live in countries where the population really feels they have a stake in the government? None. And this includes the rich oil-states.
Even when a popular leader was at the helm, like Nasser in Egypt, the country was still more or less a totalitarian dictatorship. Sure he was popular, but his regime and the people around him were generally hated. I read at TPM cafe a discussion about a film about Saddam Hussein. Iraqis were proud of his firing missiles at Israel, his invasion of Kuwait, his war with the Iranians, yet they were all scared to death of him. Does that mean they had "self-determination" under his regime?
So I don't accept the assumption that if Israel gives up control of the Palestinian/Arab population, the people will then be living in under a regime that really looks after their interest. I don't have a complete answer to your question, but I believe with good will on both sides, their interests can be accomodated, as long as they accept Jewish rights to self-determination....a situation that does not yet exist, but will in the future once the scenario I outlined comes into being.