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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Appeasement Rarely Works

Until recently, I had not thought of the Israeli pull-out from Gaza as a limited form of appeasement. But of course Hamas is now proclaiming this to be a first step in their struggle to regain their homeland, and are declaring a victory. Negotiating peace may be even more difficult in the future if the Hamas spin on things is held widely. [Thanks to MA for this link]

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal declared on Wednesday that the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank marked the beginning of the end of the Zionist dream in Palestine.

..."Now, after the victory in the Gaza Strip, we will transfer the struggle first to the West Bank and later to Jerusalem," Zahar told the London-based pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat. "We will continue the struggle until we liberate all our lands. This is an important day for the Palestinians and proof that the armed struggle has born fruit."

Asked about Hamas's future plans, Zahar said: "Neither the liberation of the Gaza Strip, nor the liberation of the West Bank or even Jerusalem will suffice us. Hamas will pursue the armed struggle until the liberation of all our lands. We don't recognize the state of Israel or its right to hold onto one inch of Palestine. Palestine is an Islamic land belonging to all the Muslims."

Zahar said the disengagement would boost morale in the Arab and Muslim world and positively influence the [anti-US] campaign in Afghanistan and Iraq. "We are part of a large global movement called the International Islamic Movement," he explained.
If the Palestinian leaders and residents hold similar views, this is a war that will never end. And if that is the case, it doesn't matter what Israel does, so it might as well forget long-run goals of peace and do what is best for the safety of its citizens in the short-run.

I hope this view is incorrect. For a very thoughtful and more positive outlook, see these comments at Powerline. Also, see this column, which quotes Sharon
"I've reached a deal with the Americans," he said. "I prefer a deal with the Americans to a deal with the Arabs."

Read that entire column to see what this is about. Also, see this for the comments of a close colleague of Ariel Sharon:

This plan is necessary to save the Jewish people for the long-term," Dan says, in the words he wished Sharon had used. "Anyone who knows our history understands that we've never had an Arab partner. Every Zionist move to reconcile with the Arabs failed, so the borders of the Jewish state have to be consolidated in the best way possible."

Dan believes that after disengagement, Sharon will complete the process of "consolidating" those borders by drawing a frontier of settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria that includes the Jordan Valley and Hebron.

[Most links courtesy of MA]
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