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Friday, May 19, 2006

Who wants a Palestinian Arab state?

One of the assumptions that have been made since at least Oslo is that it would be a Good Thing for Palestinian Arabs have their own state. Israel has subscribed to this idea, as has the US, and of course all of Europe.

Now that the Muslim-Brotherhood affiliated Hamas is running the show in the territories, it appears that the countries that are most against a Palestinian Arab state are its Arab neighbors!
  • Egypt has already had problems of its own with religious extremism in the form of the Muslim Brotherhood, which started there. And since Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, the Sinai has become a much more hospitable place for Al Qaeda and other sister groups that advocate a worldwide Islamic 'ummah. Not to mention Hamas shielding terrorists from Egypt.
  • Jordan has already acted against its local Hamas members. It has always straddled the line between Islam and the West, and it stands to lose a lot should it suddnly become neighbors with Hamas. In 1970 it showed the world how sympathetic it was to Palestinian nationalism, and the newer religious component is turning into a greater threat than the PLO was then.
  • Lebanon is still trying to get rid of its Hezbollah albatross, and Hezbollah is essentially the same as Hamas - and it has assisted Al Qaeda as well. Hamas would strengthen Hezbollah significantly.
So, interestingly, Israel's Arab neighbors are much less sympathetic and much more realistic about Hamastan than most of the West. While they will mumble platitudes of support for the Palestinian Arab people, they aren't actually acting as if they want to see a Palestine emerge anytime soon.

They see the lessons of Gaza, where any vacuum in the Middle East will be filled by the most radical elements who hate non-religious Arab regimes as much as they hate America.

It would behoove the West to take a second look at the desirability of the success of the Oslo experiment. Inertia is not a reason to continue to go forward towards supporting what would inevitably become the next chaotic center of international terror.