Tuesday, June 19, 2007

These be your Gods, O Israel

The somewhat biblical-sounding plan to use US funding to convert the West Bank into a land flowing with milk and honey, as a lesson to the stiff-necked recalcitrants in Gaza, probably won't work, knowledgeable people think. Naturally, the corporate media are willing to give the plan a chance, emphasizing the cleverness of the concept. See "US Unfreezes millions in aid to Palestinians." But in order for this to work, Israel would have to ease its stranglehold on the movement of goods and people, in effect sharing in a storybook atmosphere of confident happiness and detente, not to mention the fact that corruption and incompetence would have to come to a miraculous end. Mark Perry of Conflicts Forum writes:
So here is what will happen. The United States will fail to deliver. Some money will trickle in, but not nearly enough. The little that does trickle in will be spent unwisely. Israeli may remove some outposts, but only a few, and the settlements will continue to expand and settler roads will continue to be built and Palestinians will continue to die. Israelis will die too. A Palestinian security guard will be trained and it will march smartly through the streets of Ramallah. If it should exchange fire with a militia led by Hamas it will just as smartly be defeated. And if there is an election in “Fatahstine,” Hamas will win, while at the White House, Tony Snow will talk about how the outcome was engineered in Tehran. And nineteen months from now, in the waning days of the Bush Administration — with American foreign policy in tatters — Elliott Abrams and Keith Dayton will proudly stand alongside a smiling President Bush as he honors them, the newest recipients of the Medal of Freedom.
Others think the milk-and-honey strategy may not in fact be at the top of the list of priorities of the American and Israeli strategists.

Rather, the priority is going to be the military overthrow of the Hamas city-state in Gaza, Al-Quds al-Arabi says in its lead editorial this morning.
We don't think the basic aim [of the US, Europe and Israel] is the application of the decisions of international law...or the alleviation of the suffering of nine million Palestinians in the territories and the diaspora. Rather the aim is the protection of the Jewish state and the conversion of the Palestinian Authority in its new form into another border army, on the model of South Lebanon. And that's why we feel skepticism about this unprecedented generosity--unprecedented as to the manner of it, and and as to its amount and its timing. Because it is clear that the first priority of the emergency government and of the security force that it is re-structuring, will be a coup against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The editorialist says the dissolution (reported this morning) of the Palestinian National Security Council, and the Fatah consideration of charges against Dahlan for dereliction and deception and so on, are being wrongly interpreted as a climb-down from the attitudes of the Dahlan era, when in fact thes is the first step toward the re-creation of an anti-Hamas campaign. The editorialist writes:
[In fact] measures aimed at a coup against the Hamas city-state in the Gaza Strip have started to accelerate, now that there is abundant funding for the re-enlistment of those angry and insulted by the quick Hamas victory, and for purchasing the loyalty of other politicians and their organizations, outside of Fatah. [Not elaborated on].

The question is really one of time and timing. Abbas and his Palestinian advisers, with the support of their Western counterparts, are now going to have to concentrate on getting things on the rails on the military and political side of things, to put an end of the Hamas control of the Gaza Strip, as in fact Mr Abbas himself said in his speech on the appointment of the Prime Minister of the new emergency government.


Anonymous dan said...

The logic of the Al Quds editorial escapes me - in spite of being well-funded and well-armed, Fatah still collapsed. One of the interesting things about the BBC broadcast coverage was that the Hamas side were all toting Kalashnikovs, whilst their opponents were clearly toting US sourced weaponry.

At any rate, with regards to Gaza, someone is going to have to explain the mechanism whereby Fatah can return in sufficient strength to reverse their defeat - on the backs of Israeli armour perhaps?

6:27 AM  
Blogger badger said...

Who knows? The editorialist is saying this appears to be the priority, not economic development in the West Bank, on the principle that "if at first you don't succeed, try try again". The logic and the mechanism have not yet been revealed to us, I don't think.

7:04 AM  

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