Saturday, September 09, 2006


Terror Agriculture

Dror Poir in his blog writes about the situation in Gaza and defines a new term: "Terror Agriculture". He reminds us that 49% of the Gaza population are children, and implies that their living conditions (shortage of electricity , unemployment and the blockade ) are the grounds for the next generation of Terrorists. He concludes that it is Israel's responsibility and fault and demand that more people will talk about it.

Dror also points to Igal Sarena's post about a number of families from Gaza that do not support the Hamas activity but cannot do much when their back yard or house is used to fire Kassam rockets into Israel (which means a phone call a few minutes later - get out of the house - and an Israeli bombing).

What I do not like about such articles is that they do not take into account the political settings that created them. Both treat the Israeli government (and consequently the entire Israeli population) as heartless, but do not analyze the political underground currents that stir the Israeli government (leftwards or rightwards).

There were three major events in the recent Gaza history: Israeli settlement pullout, Hamas won the Palestinian elections and the abduction of Gilad Shalit.

The Israeli pullout was part of the US plan for election for Palestinian parliament. You cannot have an election if you do not have any land to control. From Israel's point of view, it released an economic burden, and allowed to close the Israeli-Gaza border (since there are no longer Israeli settlements in the Gaza part of the border). When the border is closed, no terrorists can come into Israel. The only problem was that Israel also needed to withdraw from the Egyptian-Gaza border. This border is now a smuggling route of Terror experts, advanced weapons and money from Iran. Israel closed the door but was forced to leave the window open.

The Palestinian elections were supposed to stop the growing power of Hamas (that won in many municipal elections a few months before) . It was assumed that the PLO will win, and together with Israeli support will crush Hamas. The reality was that Hamas has won by a landslide, and continued his anti-Israeli policy. Some Israeli voices comforted themselves by thinking: "at least now their actions and their statements in English are aligned, which will make the Israeli actions more understandable". Others maybe hoped that the reality of politics will make the wolf act like a sheep. In reality, however, the US, Europe and Israel cut all money trails leading to Hamas. Since there is not much of an economy left in Gaza (no revenues = no taxes) the money comes in briefcases from Iran. The guy who is in charge of the money is the Hamas leader, Halled Mashal which lives in Syria. He is the one that calls the shots, and is not bound to the real-politic of an elected government.

Hamas government and Haled Mashal are one as far as the Israelis are concerned, so I'll call them Hamas in short. Hamas continued the rocket attacks on Israel and conducted the attack on an Israeli patrol tank (in the Israeli side of the border) abducting Gilad shalit. Since then (about 6 weeks ago) the Israeli public opinion shifted even more towards - do whatever it takes we do not care any more - which brings us to the beginning of this post.

US is waiting for the Hamas government to break apart (oh, I forgot to mention that Israeli arrested 45 hammas parliament members and some government ministers as a bargaining chip in exchange for Gilad Shalit). The Hamas are waiting for the Bush / Blair governments to be replaced with a more flexible government.

Only time will tell who "won". One thing is for sure - the Palestinians families leaving in Gaza already lost.

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