If you don't care who gets hurt, you can make yourself good omelets
Posted by aogFriday, 06 October 2006 at 13:14 TrackBack Ping URL

Power and Control notes that Hamas is arming up in Gaza in order to replicate the “success” of the recent Hizb’allah war with Israel. The question asked is

I wonder what the armed factions hope to accomplish other than the further reduction of Gaza infrastructure?

I don’t wonder about that at all. It was instantly obvious to me that Hamas would view the situation as a no-lose proposition.

The Palestinian economy and government are effectively completely dependent on external financial aid. It is not even remotely possible to sustain the population there with local economic activity. This has several implications for Hamas, none of which are counter to doing to Gaza what Hizb’allah did to southern Lebanon —

  1. Since Gaza doesn’t depend on local economic activity, even utter destruction of its infrastructure will not make things much worse.
  2. If Israel doesn’t strike back, then Hamas gets a political victory, helping to quell local dissatisfcation and encouraging support from the Islamic sphere.
  3. Hamas has no concern about the welfare of the Palestinians, so anything that makes the humanitarian crisis worse in Gaza that Hamas can blame on someone else is good, as it increases the likelihood of Hamas getting what it really cares about, OPM.
  4. Widespread destruction might well help above and beyond any crisis that occurs to encourage the inflow of OPM.

I honestly don’t see the downside for Hamas, so such a re-arming and launching of attacks doesn’t strike me as irrational at all.

P.S. I have to note this AFP story (Via Little Green Footballs) —

Since the second Palestinian uprising broke out six years ago, the situation for Palestinians has grown ever more bleak. In the occupied West Bank, the number of Israeli checkpoints has mushroomed and the vast separation barrier, slammed by Palestinians as an apartheid wall, has separated loved ones, landowners from land and necessitated long detours.

Travel restrictions, daily humiliations and a nosediving economy are, for many in this West Bank political capital, the only fruits of a peace process that kicked off with the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994. [emphasis added]

So, things have been going down hill since the start of the second Intifadah six years ago while clearly being the result of a peace process that started twelve years ago? Is that why Hamas is trying to go back to 1948 by trying an actual invasion of Israel?

Comments — Formatting by Textile
cjm Friday, 06 October 2006 at 15:05

unless the israelis completely level gaza and drive every palistinian out of the area and into egypt. unlikely but not implausible.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 06 October 2006 at 18:44

Very unlikely. I wonder if Israel would do such a thing even if it suffered a WMD attack on a major city. I would bet a large sum of money that the Hamas leadership thinks such a reaction as only slightly more likely than a mass conversion to Islam by the Israeli population.

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