In the first days following the Gaza coup of the Hamas, it appeared as if no responsible power in the Middle East would acquiesce in the new situation. Hamas had broken the pledges of the unity government engineered by Saudi Arabia, massacred its Fateh rivals in the cruelest ways possible, and announced the formation of an Islamic regime.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas acted with belated resolution. He announced that the government was dissolved and he formed a new one, appointing Salem Fayyad, a respected independent, as Prime Minister. The Quartet and especially the United States offered their support for the new government, and Israel, willingly or under duress, announced that it would work for peace with the new Fateh controlled government. Ostensibly to back this government, a summit was convened in Sharm El Shaikh, where supposedly, Egypt, Jordan and Israel would lend their support to Abbas in his fight against the "coup d'etat," as he put it, that was engineered by Hamas. Abbas would get the now unfrozen aid funds and Palestinian tax money that Israel has been holding, as well as security concessions to improve life for the Palestinians, and the peace process would be restarted.
The dissident Hamas would be isolated in Gaza, and would find it increasingly hard to operate without the support of the world, and particularly of Arab countries.
President Hosni Mubarak, who hosted the Sharm summit, had originally called the Hamas takeover a coup
. But Mubarak changed course. He threw a monkey wrench into the proceedings, when he announced in his summation speech at the conference, that Fateh and Hamas must work together to restore Palestinian unity. Mahmoud Abbas wasn't having any of this, and Jordan's King Abdullah sat with an expression on his face that looked as though he was forced to eat something very unpleasant. Mubarak reiterated his proposal that Hamas and Fateh must reunite after a period of calm in an interview with Israeli Television Channel 1, and again, the same line was taken in communications by Mubarak's spokesman
after meeting in Sharm El Sheikh with Saudi officials, immediately after the summit:
Egypt and Saudi Arabia are ready to resume mediation between rival Palestinian factions following the bloody seizure of Gaza by Hamas, Egyptian presidential spokesman Suleiman Awad said Tuesday....
Saudi King Abdullah told Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak during talks in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh that his country would be willing to resume inter-Palestinian mediation, Awad said.
"Yes, this is very much on the table," Awad told reporters following the meeting, which came a day after a largely inconclusive summit of Middle East leaders in Sharm.
But he added: "We need some time for the spirits to calm down, for the verbal clashes to subside.
"We need time to create the climate conducive to mediating between the Hamas people and the Palestinian authority in order to sort out their differences."
The translation of the above, is that the Saudis and the Egyptians perceive that the Hamas and their Iranian and Syrian benefactors are in control, and that Abbas and his US supporters are no longer powers to be reckoned with in the Middle East. Nothing succeeds like success. Nothing fails like failure. Saudi Arabia made this assessment originally when it brokered the unity agreement, which forced Fateh to accept Hamas hegemony on their own terms.
In the United States, media acceptance of the Hamas regime was heralded by simultaneous acceptance of Hamas propaganda opinion editorials by the New York Times and the Washington Post, and various "liberal" bloggers and pundits hastened to the support of the Hamas as well. The PLO and the Fateh, once the darling of the so-called progressive anti-Zionist forces, were now cast in the role of agents of the (evil) Bush administration and the "Zionists." The Gaza coup, a victory for Islamist reaction, has been spun as a defeat for Bush and the "Zionists."
This is how anti-Zionist "progressive" blogger Tony Karon whitewashed the new regime:
Hamas is a political fact that currently has stronger roots in Palestinian reality than does Fatah, which no longer has a political identity.
Tony Karon has a point. In plain English, what he means is that God and the "liberals" are on the side of those with the biggest battalions. If the winners are shooting people in the kneecaps and throwing them off the roofs of buildings, that must be the liberal thing to do, and Karon and his friends will support it.
There is realistically very little hope of dislodging the Hamas regime from Gaza, as long as international opinion will not permit a full blockade of Gaza, and it probably would never do so. Were Israel to invade Gaza, Fateh would be instantly forced to reunite with Hamas - on the terms of the Hamas, or else be accused of being traitors to the cause. Israel could not keep a presence in Gaza, and would be forced to surrender it to the Hamas/Fateh "unity" government. The PLO/Fateh could retake Gaza as is their right, with the help of the Arab countries, but that help is not forthcoming. Fateh has been abandoned by the Arab world and by the west. Everyone loves a winner, nobody likes a loser.
The acceptance of the fait accompli in Gaza and the prospects of another "unity government" create a very dangerous situation for Israel. A likely scenario is that the Fateh government will get arms, support and recognition, as well as possible peace concessions from Israel. The flow of foreign aid to the Palestinian government (of Abbas) has resumed. At a certain point, Abbas will be forced to accept the hegemony of the Hamas in a new "unity" government, in a deal mediated by Saudi Arabia and possibly Egypt. Remarkably nobody in the US government seems to be concerned that client states Egypt and Saudi Arabia are busy sabotaging the last hopes for the US sponsored Middle East peace effort.
Once the unity government deal is consummated, the Hamas government will then have been foisted on Israel and on the quartet, who will find that they have given arms to the Hamas in effect, and made concessions to the Hamas, and that they are obligated to give foreign aid to the Hamas government. The roadblocks removed from the West Bank will enable the free flow of arms and terrorists and the solidification of Hamas rule. Abbas, weakened from within and abandoned and betrayed by his erstwhile backers will have no choice but to acquiesce in a renewed and very virulent intifada, and Israel will be faced with extremely unpleasant choices, all of which will be decried by the likes of Tony Karon and the Washington Post.
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Replies: 1 Comment
And all of this shows that the Arab Muslims will not live in peace with a state of an opposing religion or ethnicity...and so Israel will have to swallow one of two very bitter pills.
1. Form a binational state (and begin the mass evacuation of Jews) in Israel.
2. Form a hard right-wing government for only a hard right-wing government will accept the steps necessary to remove the threat at hand. By "hard-right", I mean at minimum a Lieberman government and at maximum a Chaim Ben Pesach government!
Franklin Oliveira, Thursday, June 28th
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