Monday, June 18, 2007

Gaza is the Middle East's Unloved, Unwanted Child

It’s going to be on the Palestinians’ shoulders to demand and get good governance. I’m not holding my breath…

It’s sad. The Palestinian Arabs’ leaders are so utterly vile - quick to kill or rob dissidents and willing to drown their subjects in sewage so they can better kill Jews — that invasion and re-occupation would seem to be a kindness. Yet Gazans can’t look to Israel for this favor anymore, though many escaped across the border to Israel before Hamas sealed it. The international community won’t do is as long as Hamas et al insist on retaining their “right” to attack Israel. Nor can Gazans easily ignore the men with guns because it is they who control the external funds that are Gaza’s life support.

Gaza is the middle east’s unloved, unwanted child. Though Egypt occupied it from Israel’s independence to 1967, Egypt didn’t want it back. Nor did Israel especially wish to keep it: a popular Israeli play of the 1980s featured a Begin-like character dragging a trash can around with the label “Gaza” on it. It’s not surprising to me that Gazans would seek comfort by becoming yet another satellite of modern-day Persia.

It isn’t a new choice for them, either. In ancient times Gaza held out against Alexander’s army for months, giving its Persian masters additional time to muster a huge army. If you accept that Hezbollah is Iran’s weapon against Israel in case Iran’s nuclear program is ever attacked, it’s easy to think that Gaza is meant to serve the same function.

I note that when Gaza finally fell to Alexander, its male population was slaughtered to the last man. Although the Israelis don’t do such things (or else the Palestinians in the occupied territories would have ceased to exist decades ago), people should keep in mind that it wasn’t just the rocket attacks that prompted Israel’s incursions into Lebanon and Gaza last year, but, I think, the feeling Israelis had that their normal, peaceful lives could not last if these attacks were allowed to continue with impunity.

What to do about the Palestinian Arabs? I long ago recommended that the world should cut off aid to them entirely. In the case of heavily overpopulated Gaza, that would compel the Arabs to forget “pride” and conquest and seek mutually satisfactory arrangements with surrounding states and a market-based system at home lest they face starvation - in other words, peace!

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