Gaza Gambles

It’s no secret that the Palestinians do not like the Israelis. Check. It probably all started when the UN decided to carve out a homeland for displaced Jews, but made no provisions for displaced Palestinians. So the Palestinians, mostly Arabs, have been battling this injustice ever since. It’s kind of tough to make peace with somebody when your instrument of negotiation is violence. Israel hasn’t been much of a better partner with all of its meat force with force paradigm. But then Israel gives up some land to the Palestinians. And starts giving up some autonomy for self-governance in Gaza. What happens? Two key things. The Palestinians elect a leadership that is the most militant and that continues to launch attacks on Israel. At the same time, Egypt, the nearest Arab “brother” state, seals off the border with Gaza because they do not want that militant element to infect their country.

Israel is left to be the sole supplier of economic sustenance (food, water, electricity, tobacco, etc.) to a group of people who have sworn their destruction and demonstrate that oath by continuing to attack. Israel responds by sealing the border. The Palestinians in Gaza revolt at this humanity. “How dare you cut off my lights when all I did was lob a few rockets at you?!” Israel stand firm and the Palestinians in Gaza decide to overrun the border with… Egypt!

A top Israeli defense official said that Israel wants to relinquish all responsibility for the Gaza Strip, including the supply of electricity and water, now that the territory’s southern border with Egypt has been opened. On the Egyptian side of the Gaza border, helmeted riot officers with dogs used batons to beat the hoods of Egyptian cars and trucks offering rides to Palestinians seeking goods in towns out of walking range. U.S. and Arab officials said Wednesday that Egypt had assured the United States it would soon reseal its border with the Gaza Strip. An Arab diplomat said Egypt told the U.S. it expected the Palestinians’ exodus from Gaza to end by midday Thursday, but a senior U.S. official said Egypt has not been precise about when it will stop the flow.

So… the border with Egypt will close. Arab brother will turn its back on Arab brother. Israel will once again be put in the awkward position of having to sustain its enemy. And the Palestinians will be angry. There has never really been peace in that part of the world. There really isn’t a good reason to expect it. Ever.


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