Wednesday, October 05, 2005

"Gaza as a de facto Egyptian protectorate"

Just try to move your leg
They've put you in a cast, yeah
NOFX's long lost brother HeadHeeb lays it down:
The protest is the latest in a series of signs that the Palestinian public and security forces are losing patience with lawlessness in Gaza. If the PA cracks down on Hamas, however, the greatest impact may be on Israeli public opinion. Thus far, the PA has followed a strategy of co-opting rather than confronting Hamas, seeking to bring it into the political system and convince it to exercise restraint while avoiding civil warfare. Given the balance of forces in Gaza and the fragility of the Palestinian governmental structure, this strategy may have a good deal to recommend it. However, Israeli notions of state formation are heavily influenced by the Altalena incident and Ben Gurion's conclusion that the existence of a functioning state is incompatible with the existence of private armies.

Israel has thus far refrained from insisting on a Palestinian Altalena strategy. The Israeli government would probably accept the co-optation of Hamas if it worked. For that matter, the Israeli government would likely accept Gaza as a de facto Egyptian protectorate as long as the borders remained quiet. Both these strategies, however, leave many Israelis with a lingering suspicion that the PA is shirking its responsibilities by refusing to take the risk that Ben Gurion took, or for that matter the risk that Sharon took in pushing the Gaza withdrawal through against settler opposition.

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