People are asking what a Gaza officially run by Hamas will mean.
I had a tiny moment of optimism after the initial Hamas victory in January 2006, followed immediately with a much worse case scenario that can easily happen:
My initial lack of concern over the Hamas victory may be premature. I had forgotten one of my own recent blog themes.Hamas initially claimed that they had no immediate designs on building an Islamic theocracy when they won the election, but statements made today show that this is no longer the case. Their commonalities with Iran far outweigh the Shia/Sunni divide. Al-Qaeda is not worrisome Gaza wildcard - it remains Iran, which will now have the opportunity to sandwich Israel between Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south.
There is a way for Hamas to refuse to talk to Israel, ignore Western economic pressure, stay true to its Islamist roots and to appear to help the Palestinian Arabs in their day-to-day lives.
And the answer is Iran.
Iran would be overjoyed to have an Islamist fundamentalist terror statelet right next to Israel. It will provide more than enough money to offset the shortfall from any chance of the EU refusing to give aid to a terror group. It would increase Iran's influence and further its goals of being the world Islamist power. It would help Iran's popularity among the faithful, and it will solidify Iran's leadership role as the major threat to the West and eventual Islamist world domination.
As long as the world is willing to pay huge amounts of money to Iran for oil, the world will end up subsidizing the Hamastan terror statelet. For only a billion petrodollars a year, Iran can replace the EU, UN and US funds. (And the European twisted logic will then continue to find ways to give money to Hamas as a way to "maintain influence" over a bunch of thugs.)
Iranian missiles in Gaza could reach all of Europe.
Ultimately, Iran views Hamastan as the perfect delivery vehicle for nuclear weapons - an entire "nation" that would happily vaporize itself to destroy Israel.
The EU has already cut off aid to Gaza in the wake of Hamas' steamrolling Fatah. It is way past time for Israel to follow suit - cut off water, medical help and electricity towards a reichlet that is intent to destroy Israel. There is no occupation and Israel has no moral or legal obligation to prop up an entity that is dedicated to destroying it. Iran will be happy to try to fill the gap - but Iran is already stretched economically and I don't believe it can afford the billions of dollars annually that it would take to even keep the status quo, and its own domestic problems will only increase.
It is critical for Israel to speak up now to the world: Gaza shows what happens when you give Palestinian Arabs autonomy. Gaza is the model for the Palestine that the world insists is needed. In less than two years Gaza went from a functioning society to a violent Islamic terror statelet under Palestinian Arab rule. Staying silent now is a wasted opportunity.
Ultimately, Israel will invade Gaza again, especially when Hamas solidifies its victory and turns once again against Israel. This time Israel cannot be as concerned about civilians as she has in the past, because in war, total victory ends up saving more lives than the cease-fires that have been imposed on Israel in the past.
UPDATE: Charles Krauthammer agrees about the Iranian scenario. (h/t Daled Amos)