Friday, August 26, 2005
mid east mayhem
On to what I was thinking about before getting sidetracked by my rant on hurricane coverage.
The Exorcist was awed by the Israeli release of Gaza and four settlements in the West Bank last week. Now, there's news that bears analysis and not just the gut wrenching takes of protesters being dragged out of settlement synagogues.
The political will of Ariel Sharon - whatever else you may think of him - in bringing about the evacuation was formidable. The only motivation capable of putting in motion such a dramatic and significant action by the Israeli government is the only motivation that ever moves Israel: self preservation. Survival.
A Vatican official, commenting on the Israeli withdrawl, implied that it was out of respect for international law... an appraisal that is either withering sarcasm or hopeless ingenuousness.
After 35 years the Israelis are suddenly overcome with pangs of guilt over the illegality of the Gaza settlements? Not likely.
Calculated self conservation, pure and simple.
Demographics: the Palestinian population has grown exponentially (not accidentally) in comparison with the Israeli, making extended Jewish presence in the poverty-stricken Palestinian quadrant practically unsustainable. It is demographics that will ultimately bring an independent Palestinian state into being. Israel does well to cede and establish limits on that future state now. Inaction or delay could put the existence of the Jewish state in danger in the long run out of sheer numerical inferiority.
There was undoubtably a good deal of political arm twisting done by the Bush administration, but that, too, essentially boils down to Israel's survival instinct. The future of Israel, surrounded by 22 hostile Islamic nations in continual flux, depends more than ever on the benevolence of Big Brother.
Whether the removal of settlements will instill peace or not in Holy Land is yet to be seen. Something tells me it is not going to be as easy as bulldozing under the evacuated communities. Hamas has already attributed the Israeli withdrawl to its own relentless intifada. If it worked in Gaza, why not east Jerusalem? Read C.Krauthammer's editorial...
Whatever happens, the ball is obviously in the Palestinian court as we stand and watch history unfold before our eyes...