Thursday, July 07, 2005

Take Gaza, Please

Robert E. Hunter was U.S. ambassador to NATO from 1993 to 1998, and is a senior advisor at RAND Corp. In this article from the International Herald Tribune, he gives us the recent history of Middle East politics, and the machiavellian games played by the various Arab states with regards to the Palestinians:

The world is inured to seeing Palestinian refugees packed tightly into camps in Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, which for all practical purposes is one large refugee camp. These camps could have been closed decades ago if Arab nations had absorbed some of their residents and provided economic support to others. But oil-producing Arab states used the Palestinian plight to illustrate what they argued was Israeli heartlessness and Western double standards. Palestinian leaders like the late Yasser Arafat used the camps to cultivate a psychology of victimhood.

Israeli extremists used the camps' existence to back up their claim that Palestinians could not possibly govern themselves. And the ultimate irony came in 1979 when Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan of Israel secretly offered to give Gaza back to Egypt. President Anwar Sadat of Egypt uttered a crisp "no thanks."

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon now plans to vacate Gaza, taking with him the Israeli settlements, as a contribution to the road map sponsored by the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia. But unless Gaza succeeds, the vacuum will be filled by Hamas ...

So, the recent history of the Middle East conflict is of leaders of nations falling all over themselves trying to avoid the Palestinians, huh? Gee, I wonder why?

I must be an extremist, because I have come to the conclusion that the Palestinians aren't capable of governing themselves. Why?

Because for 40 years now they have chosen violence over negotiation. They have elected and supported leaders like Arafat, who walked away from the table, and began a war, when he was offered 97% of what he asked for. They've elected leaders like Abbas, who earned his Doctorate with a paper on how the Jews conspired with the Nazis to create the Holocaust. They've elected leaders like Hamas who call for death to the Jews in their Charter.

They are, in short, a Nazi-like state. And, crazy as it sounds, I think that's an indicator that they are not capable of governing themselves.