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« The Palestinians' Historic Opportunity | Main | Kenneth Levin Interview: The Oslo Syndrome »

July 24, 2005



History comes first as tragedy, second as . . . tragedy. And third as . . .

David Gerstman

Ross writes about the Hizbollah model, but then you write:

Hizbollah now has 12,000 rockets capable of hitting northern Israel.
Hizbollah didn't get those rockets because violence paid. It got those rockets because it no longer had to defend itself on its own turf. i.e. it had the opportunity to re-arm itself. That is the danger - as you suggest - with withdrawal. Too much analysis of the Middle East focuses strictly on motive - and often the wrong motvie; not enough on means or opportunity.



Disengagement was designed by Sharon at a time when Arafat controlled the Palestinian Authority and negotiations had failed. It was an attempt to move to more strategically defensible lines that Israel would set itself.

Once “man of peace” “democratically elected” Mahmoud Abbas replaced him, the Bush Administration forced Sharon into “coordination” (that is, negotiation) with the Palestinian Authority, ignoring the Roadmap (which required dismantling of terrorist infrastructures before negotiations could begin).

The result is that Israel is negotiating under fire, agreeing to things like a seaport (anyone remember the KarineA?) and a reopened airport (which will make tunnels a quaint relic of the past), and turning over land to Hamas. All to “bolster” a Palestinian Authority that is going to lose the next fair election to the group that forced Israel to withdraw under fire.

Disengagement may have been a good idea at the time. Driving 55 miles an hour may be fine too, but if it starts raining, and the road starts curving, and it looks like the map may be out-of-date, and a possible cliff lies ahead, it would be a good idea to turn around.


For an even better explication of the points I was trying to make, check out "Counterproductive" at http://soccerdad.baltiblogs.com/archives/006735.html.

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