December 05, 2006

Palestine: Civil War Ahead?

The Palestinians have more-or-less managed to avoid civil war. over the past 40 years. There were always various rivalries between competing Palestinian factions, but the Palestinians have been able to stop that from fomenting into anything more than rivalry because of the united national goal and the united will of the Palestinian people (to see an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza strip).

Now it’s looking increasingly as though there is set to be some form of civil war between Fatah (and which ever splinter groups or allies choose to aid it) and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

This isn’t worrying just because of the potential violence and death that may ensue, it is also worrying because it reduces the Palestinian leadership(s) to mere monkeys dancing to an Israeli accordian.

Fatah has proven, since 1993, to be willing to comply to Israeli demands in order to gain or retain power. Hamas has proven to be equally pliant but in a different way. Time and again Hamas has predictably reacted to Israeli provocation in precisely the manner the Israeli authorities desired (for example, when Hamas would orchestrate a hudna, the Israelis would make an assassination. And if no reaction, another assassination. And then another until Hamas responded by making a strike against Israeli civilians which the Israelis would use as an excuse to escalate their violence).

And now these two monkeys are hearing the Israeli tune and dancing more ferociously than ever. They can’t see the wood for the trees? Would Palestinian Civil War be beneficial to Israel? Of course it would. Why? Well:

1) If the major Palestinian militant groups are fighting amongst themselves, they’re not going to be fighting with Israel.

2) If the Palestinians are engaged in civil war, Israel can continue to pursue its policy of the last 10 years and create de facto borders which will ultimately result in a semi-autonomous Palestinian region within an Israeli state. The Israelis won’t have to negotiate if the Palestinians can’t decide on their leadership. Negotiations completely go out the window. Palestinians destroy themselves while Israel reaps the benefits. To quote the Chinese Idiom: ”坐山观虎斗“ – Sit on a mountain and watch two tigers fight.

3) It frees the Israelis up to pursue other actions. Notably Lebanon. Israel is already making hints towards a future invasion (as though the hints at the end of the last war weren’t obvious enough) and it’s looking increasingly likely that an invasion or “intervention” will take place. .

Here’s hoping that neither Fatah nor Hamas will take the bait and launch a civil war. It would mean the ruin of hopes for a sovereign Palestine.


- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. As always, whenever something bad happens in Palestine, the Israelis make for the best scapegoats. No sense of personal responsibility whatsoever. Aside from the fact that Israel clearly has no vested interest whatsoever in formenting instability in the West Bank (given that these kind’ve conflicts have a tendency of spreading and Israel will find it hard to remain unaffected) I utterly fail to see, nor do you provide any evidence to suggest that Israel are “baiting” either Fatah or Hamas into civil war.

    13 Dec 2006, 01:16

  2. As always, whenever something bad happens in Palestine, the Israelis make for the best scapegoats

    Damn it’s incovenient being an occupying power!

    No sense of personal responsibility whatsoever

    Oh but I did assign certain responsibilities to Fatah and Hamas.

    Aside from the fact that Israel clearly has no vested interest whatsoever in formenting instability in the West Bank

    I’ve pointed out that there are vested interests. Your idea that civil strife would somehow magically transpose itself into Israel is interesting.

    I utterly fail to see, nor do you provide any evidence to suggest that Israel are “baiting” either Fatah or Hamas into civil war.

    Have you not been following recent news? The armament of Fatah by Israel? The consistent seige of the Gaza strip in order to weaken the Hamas government?

    Civil Strife between factions has very much been an Israeli aim and not just for the past few years. If you look back towards the creation of Hamas you’ll see it there too.

    But those poor Israelis are just looking for peace. As long as the Palestinians voluntarily transfer themselves out of their land.

    13 Dec 2006, 19:57


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