Sunday, June 17, 2007

Encircling Gaza

Masked Fatah fighters are on a rampage, expelling Hamas from the West Bank as far as they can find them, and in Gaza, where there is a general amnesty, Hamas have banned masks from being worn in the streets to prevent any funny business. There might not be any need for that 'Iraq-style insurgency' on the part of Fatah, however, for Abbas' call for an 'international force' to take over Gaza might be realised in some form. It has been suggested that a force gather around Gaza's borders to prevent the smuggle of munitions. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni says that such a force has to be ready to fight Hamas. Given the general reluctance of 'the international community' do send anything more than a monitoring force, Israel may have to do the dirty work itself. Ehud Barak, the racist former Israeli PM, has been brought back into the government as defense minister, and is threatening to attack Gaza and 'crush' Hamas.

Israel is naturally full of praise for Fatah's overthrow of the West Bank government. This is what Ehud Olmert says:

A Palestinian government which is not a Hamas government is a partner and we will co-operate with it.

I hate to be obvious and everything, but it isn't really Olmert's business to say who the Palestinians should elect, or what government they should have imposed on them. I know it is old-fashioned and quaint to say so, but someone should notice when an Israeli Prime Minister indicates that he will pick and choose which Palestinian government to co-operate with, since that amounts to to the suggestion that Israel will only discuss terms with the Palestinians when their terms are sufficiently timid. Olmert's obligation is to co-operate with any government that the Palestinians choose to represent themselves with by providing, at minimum, an unoccupied contiguous state without colonies, with full economic rights and a truckload of compensation for years of war crimes. Such, of course, is more 'co-operation' than any Fatah government can expect. Curiously - whether befuddled or beguiled by the cliched dogshit about partnership - the implications of such open statements from the most senior political figures in Israel seem to elude our media.