Friday, June 15, 2007

THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS: Some say that with Fatah fleeing to the West Bank, Two-State solution now aptly describes the Palestinians own situation. Others say that it is not clear that the West Bank is Fatah Turf, leaving Gaza squarely under Hamas control and the West Bank up in the air.

Enter Martin Indyk in an op-ed for The Washington Post, claiming the future of a Palestinian state lies with Fatah in the West Bank. According to Inydk, Gaza is a mess--and now it is all Hamas' mess.
This turn of events would free Abbas to focus on the much more manageable West Bank, where he can depend on the Israel Defense Forces to suppress challenges from Hamas, and on Jordan and the United States to help rebuild his security forces. As chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization and president of the Palestinian Authority, Abbas is empowered to negotiate with Israel over the disposition of the West Bank. Once he controls the territory, he could make a peace deal with Israel that establishes a Palestinian state with provisional borders in the West Bank and the Arab suburbs of East Jerusalem.
As we leave Mr. Indyk drooling at the possibilities, we should consider:

1. It is not clear that the West Bank wants Abbas, even after last weeks events
2. Based on the last elections Hamas is the choice of Palestinians.
3. Considering the weak leadership of Abbas, why should he be imposed on the West Bank?
4. The US backing of the corrupt Fatah has helped neither Fatah nor the US--continuing this failed policy is asking for trouble (See: Fatah's final death blow).

Speaking of Israel, Indyk has the Israeli position all figured out:
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has an interest in this outcome, too. Elected on a mandate to leave the West Bank, Olmert was gravely weakened by the Lebanon war last summer. His best hope for political salvation lies in movement on the peace process. With Ehud Barak's election as Labor Party leader, Olmert now has a partner with security credentials who can lend him credibility and who may also want to prevent the West Bank from going Gaza's way.

1. Today's Olmert has no mandate for anything--other than resignation.
2. Does Indyk seriously suggest that in light of events in Gaza--even before Hamas' takeover--the majority of Israelis now want to leave the West Bank?
3. Is Barak really "a partner with security credentials" considering that the Winograd Report makes Barak's withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000----which Barak at the time described as "a happy day"----its starting point and notes how Hizbullah grew stronger during his term.

Indyk is intent on seeing the creation of a Palestinian state, and the current situation simply allows him to play with all kinds of scenarios.

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