Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Little Has Changed

Daniel Pipes has an interesting article about what things are like now that we're six months into a post-Arafat world.

How do things look half a year after Arafat's death? About as awful as anyone might have expected. Specifically, Mr. Abbas is unambiguously leading the Palestinians to war after the Israeli retreat from Gaza in August 2005.

He then lists some recent developments, courtesy of Abu Mazen. He discusses his hiring terrorists as soldiers, arming them, inciting the population and then the old standby classic -- pretending to arrest terrorists while sending them through the revolving door back to freedom. These things have escalated the violence, despite the "truce" or "cease-fire" that Israel supposedly has with the various terror factions.

The following paragraph mirrors what many of us here along the blogway have been predicting:

More violence could follow in September, as the Palestinians, Gaza now under their belt, begin a new assault on Israel. That round presumably will feature the substantial rocket arsenal that Hamas has been amassing. Israel's chief of staff, Moshe Ya'alon, is on record predicting, "Immediately after the disengagement we can expect a burst of terrorism."

Pipes does see one thing that could possibly stop things in their tracks.

Ironically, the one thing that might prevent this scenario from playing out would be a Hamas victory in the Palestinian council elections scheduled for mid-July. Israeli voices are increasingly calling for the Gaza withdrawal to be postponed or even annulled should Hamas do well, as seems likely. For example, Israel's foreign minister, Silvan Shalom, has said if Hamas wins the elections, it would be "unreasonable" to implement the disengagement plan and allow Hamas to create a "Hamas-stan" in Gaza.

So, there are many possibilities in the next four months. Their common element is that by September, the Arab-Israeli theater will be in yet worse shape than it is today.

I wonder how many lives will be lost in the process.

Personally, I find Abu Mazen more dangerous than Arafat for the simple fact that he can appear moderate, in his western suits, talking the talk. He doesn't walk around like Arafat, in his fatigues, looking like he's at war. People knew what Arafat was; they couldn't continue to fool themselves. Abu Mazen, in his guise as Mr. Abbas, allows people to do just that.


At 12:21 PM, Blogger muse said...

6 months?
Wow time flies....

At 12:46 PM, Blogger Gindy said...

"Ironically, the one thing that might prevent this scenario from playing out would be a Hamas victory in the Palestinian council elections scheduled for mid-July. "

Somehow, I wouldn't count on that. I am expecting things to get worse once the Palestinians get anything (meaning Gaza).

At 1:22 PM, Blogger beakerkin said...

You are assuming honest election are possible . The PA is so corrupt that it is dubious.

At 1:26 PM, Blogger Esther said...

Doesn't it, muse? Too true.

I always expect things to get worse, Gindy. :(

beakerkin, I never work from a place that a PA election is ever honest. The winner simply means which side had more guns in people's backs.

At 4:54 PM, Blogger MissingLink said...

" The winner simply means which side had more guns in people's backs."

This is most unfortunate but it is the reality.

At 5:47 AM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

A leopard can`t change it`s spots, the old saying goes. The Palestinian Authority was just a new name for the PLO, and the whole point of their existence was the extermination of Israel. There is no reason to think that Arafat`s death makes any real difference to an organization geared for war.

At 10:31 AM, Blogger Tom Carter said...

I wouldn't go so far as to say that Abbas is worse than Arafat. That would require someone of the status of bin Laden. However, even if Abbas were serious about peace and reform, I seriously doubt that he could do it. They'd simply kill him. Why are we so loathe to recognize that Islamic extremism, especially the Palestinian variety, can't be dealt with as though it were a rational group of reasonable people? It's hard to see peace without the detailed defeat of the Palestinian terrorist movement. About the best thing Israel can hope for is a pseudo-peace, with the Palestinian threat effectively walled away from civilized people. That's one reason why I think the Gaza withdrawal should continue.

At 12:17 PM, Blogger Gindy said...


Check out this one.


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