It is not irrational for the Israelis to think that the concession of the Gaza Strip will allow them to expand in the West Bank.
It is not irrational for the Palestinians to think that the consession of the Gaza Strip will allow them to expand in the West Bank.
Neither statement negates the other, but you can see where this is going. Same story, new front.
Israel has given a signifigant concession, and not recieved one signifigant concession in return. The Palestinians are controlled by terrorists, deeper than the Taliban controlled Afghanistan. Mahmood Abbas is a figurehead to negotiate with, but has little actual power in the Palestinian territories. Israel will now take what land it needs to for defensive purposes, in the face of unchecked Palestinian aggression and terrorism.
Unlike in Iraq, watch especially hard for the terrorists to make their presence felt in the Gaza, because it won't be heavily reported. The factional fighting has escalated, with a General who was an Arafat relative being murdered, and his adult son, a Colonel, being kidnapped, a block from the PA headquarters. The operation was reported to have taken an hour. Sharon knows what Israel is facing, and did the unthinkable to wake up the liberals in his country, and the world, to what is going on. Short of the Palestinian terrorists all killing each other, or being killed by a "moderate" Palestinian Authority that accepts Israel, nothing of substance can be done. It is doubtful that they can incorporate into the political process. Terrorists have to be killed.
The same terror masters are behind the attacks in the U.S, Spain, Iraq, Bali, Afghanistan, Britain, Lebannon, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Egypt, and Israel. Perhaps different factions, but they aggregated into Al Queda long before 9/11. Iran, Syria/the Bekka valley in Lebannon, and the Palestinian territories have given haven to these terrorists, and still do.
This is a preview of the future years in the war on terror, if we leave Iraq or Afghanistan prematurely, or let the U.N. take over. The UN was complicit in allowing the Palestinians to fall under the "rule of the gun." We cannot allow what has happened in the Palestinian territories to happen to either of those countries. Fools and liberals will call this "imperialism," but it is in fact the only hope that the world has right now of bringing human rights and democracy to the Middle East, even if it "creates more terrorists." Remember that Iraq has "sucked in" (and killed) a great many of the terrorists. The long term goal is worth the relatively short term threat, because the causes of terrorism aren't going away. They're going to keep on spreading, into more nations and communities and homes all over the world, eventually. All of the causes of terrorism can be bundled up into one big (Cosmic) idea. "HUMAN RIGHTS." Unless the West abandons this concept, there will be no peace with the terrorists, whether governments (Iran, No. Korea) or stateless groups like Al Queda.
Think about this aspect of "Israel vs. Palestine": Would you rather be a suicide bomber caught alive by the Israelis, or a suspected Israeli collaborator in the Palestinian territory? One has contact with legal counsel, and the potential for release, while the other gets dragged out of jail by a mob, and shot to death. Hint: the one still alive got a higher respect of "human rights" than the dead guy, regardless of guilt or innocence. Israel is an outpost of democracy in a sea of tyranny. For all of the radicalism she inspires, Israel has had a positive effect on some of it's neighbors, especially Jordan. They see the open exchange of ideas in Israel, and emulate it to some degree.
I see light at the end of this tunnel, though It may be a long time before we see a final peace between Israel and Palestine. The whole world will be involved in this war, and the Palestinians are just the tip of the spear. It may get worse before it gets better.
PS: This is why I so rarely mention Israel when posting about the war on terror. It is hard to make the choices they have had to, much less apply them to our country, or imagine them being necessary. If push comes to shove in the war on terror, I'm sure that the U.S. will handle it as well as Israel has been able to, if it ever comes to our shores as deeply as it has to theirs.
PPS: SEE ZOLA LEVITT'S PAGE FOR A PIECE ABOUT THE VALIDITY OF THE TERM "PALESTINE."