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Friday, June 22, 2007

Supporting Fatah won't defeat Hamas

Former Jerusalem Post managing editor Tom Rose is spot-on in this piece in London's Weekly Standard. It's a shame that neither the US nor Israel is likely to listen:
The PLO is finished. The Palestinians know it. The Arabs know it. Only we don't know it. The PLO's leader, Abu Mazen, is as likely to use the West Bank to retake Gaza as Chiang Kai-shek was to use Taiwan to retake Communist China. Today's lifeline to the PLO will do no more to reverse the Hamas takeover of Gaza than American support for Chiang in the 1950s did to reverse Mao's takeover of the Chinese mainland. But at least with Taiwan we eventually got a model prosperous democracy--far more than we will ever get from supporting Fatah.

Even in the West Bank, where the PLO is supposedly strong, Fatah is more a fiction than a fact. Its leader, Abu Mazen, is Palestine's version of the Holographic Doctor from Star Trek Voyager. As far as most Palestinians are concerned, he is nothing but a figment of the West's imagination, and not a very imaginative one at that. The 13 private militias and armies that make up Fatah control Abu Mazen. He
does not control them. Abu Mazen is a puppet with no strings. He has no following in either Palestine, East or West. And the Bush-Olmert plan to prop him up won't succeed for long.

The immediate danger to Israel and the West comes from Gaza, not the West Bank. It is in Gaza that Hamas can assemble serious and dangerous weaponry with which to attack Israel (not to mention other Palestinians). It is in Gaza, not the West Bank, where agents of the Iranian regime will plant themselves for renewed war against Israel. It is in Gaza where al Qaeda and other terrorists are already establishing themselves. Gaza is a terror threat, and the West Bank could well become even more of one than it is now. This is the reality democratic leaders should face, rather than wishing what is happening were not.
Read the whole thing.


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