Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The strip

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) argues that, by blowing a hole in the Gaza-Egyptian border, Hamas has reshaped its geography vis a vis Israel. As if to illustrate the point, two suicide bombers who attacked a Dimona shopping center believed to be Hamas operatives may have entered Israel via Egypt.

Gaza has transformed from its prior status as part of the Palestinian Authority to its new role as a mini-state that is now an integral part of the Arab world. Hamas will now be able to more freely obtain weapons, ammunition, explosives, and training via Egyptian Sinai. Since the border opening, advanced weapons have flowed unimpeded into Gaza across the Egyptian border, enabling the transfer of higher-grade weapons than can be smuggled via underground tunnels.

Israel will probably never be "safe" for as long as it exists because any peace it concludes with its neighbors will simply provide one more route of access for extremist groups like Hamas. But what is less apparent yet is what effect a de-facto open terrorist state in Gaza will have on Egypt which has terrorist woes of its own. One of the unintended effects of Israeli disengagement from Gaza is the forcible transfer of the parasite to Egypt, blurring the line between the two. The JCPA paper notes that "if Egypt is forced to take responsibility for Gaza, Israel will have to more carefully weigh its military responses to Hamas terror actions originating from the Strip."

Many of the distinctions the punctilious Western mind makes (i.e. between "moderate" Fatah and "radical" Hamas, between the official and unofficial acts of the Iranian government in Iraq, between the "border" of Afghanistan and Waziristan) are really diplomatic fictions. That would be alright if their fictive natures were always borne in mind. But after a time diplomatic fictions become public realities and policy is made according to fantasy rather than fact, which eventually attains to the status of convention wisdom. The Gaza-Egypt border is down: but where is it now?


Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

my my my have we traveled full circle since 1956?

Gaza ALWAYS has been an egyptian thorn that Nasser, Sadat and now Mubarak have always used to beat up israel.

This is NOT a new issue...

It has come full circle, the Moslem Brotherhood is the mother creature of Hamas, the PLO via the Egyptian Arafat another GIFT from the Egyptians...

Blow back is a bitch

Hamas is Palestine and they choose war...

They will be quite surprised one day soon that the impodent Israelis can actually fight.

2/06/2008 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

The Hamas breakout has changed things in some ways but I don't think anyone knows how this will play out. All of the important parties to the conflict have conflicting goals, both among the parties and within themselves. The Egyptians don't want to jeopardize their peace with Israel but don't want to be seen as harming Arabs. The US wants the peace process to continue but doesn't want to support a terrorist state. Abbas wants Hamas out but doesn't want to support Israeli attacks on Pals. Israel wants to stop the rocket fire but doesn't want to be seen as attacking civilians. And on and on. No one wants to pull off the band-aid because it will hurt.

Hamas has created a terrorist state. It won't give up its power to anyone. It also won't be supported by any legitimate govt in the world.

Only Israel has the ability and perhaps the will to remove Hamas from power. One obvious problem though is that the Israeli govt doesn't seem to have a strategic plan. They seem to let the events drive their responses rather than them driving events. This is not a new problem with this govt and to be fair this is a very difficult if not intractable problem

I can only see a large Israeli attack on Gaza as the end game, perhaps after a great provocation from Hamas. Who will come to Hamas' aid? Hezbollah? Iran? Syria? The security council.

2/06/2008 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Whiskey said...

It means war with Egypt of course.

Mubarak is weak, old, and his kid without his brutal talent. Hamas will simply join with the Brotherhood and take over Egypt. Launching a war with Israel to gain unity the way Khomeni used the Embassy takeover to drive out moderates.

Israel had better reserve some nukes for Egypt because they'll need it. They'll have to kill lots of Egyptians in order to deter further attacks after the Hamas takeover of Egypt.

2/06/2008 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

Daniel Pipes has a column with his suggestion on how things should play out. How to turn Gaza over to Egypt

I doubt it can work but it might.

2/06/2008 04:38:00 PM  

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