Although some might have difficulty telling the difference--like Abdel Rahman
, Hamas Security Officer:
"I can smell the freedom," he said. "We need no border after today."
One difference is that when the Berlin Wall came down, there was no fear of terrorists taking advantage of the situation in order to carry out suicide bombings more easily. Arlene Kusher has a post
today on her site about Gaza's new open border with Egypt and the indications that freedom is not
the primary motivation:
First there was the comment cited in today's Post by Khaled Abu Toameh. One Ibrahim Abu Taha, a Palestinian from Gaza, had moved through the fence and gone into Egypt, where he was planning on buying rice and sugar, milk, wheat and cheese. The same food stuffs were available in Gaza, said Abu Taha, but at three times the cost.
Wait! Did he say food was available in Gaza? Uh huh.
Couple this with the observation by Calev Ben David that in September 2005, after Israel had pulled out of Gaza, Hamas had blown up the fence at the border with Egypt, at the Philadelphi Corridor. But "nobody was hungry then; nobody needed fuel or medicine."
Then there are other, political motivations for breaking through the fence that have nothing to do with the "humanitarian needs" of the people?
In fact, now that Hamas has mixed things up on the Egypt-Gaza border, they may have ideas about the border with Israel as well--after all, Hamas has no problem throwing live bodies at Israel and the IDF:
Senior Hamas official Ahmed Yusuf has now warned Israel that "next time, 500,000 people will break down the border with Israel at the Erez Crossing and stream through. They will be willing to give their lives to go back to their [purported] original homes [from before 1948]. This is not imaginary."
There is disagreement here in Israel as to how seriously to take this.
Then, in the midst of all this, it is being suggested that Hamas is not the only one who may use the current situation to their advantage:
[Labor MK Yuval] Steinitz, who has been sounding warnings about Egypt for years, now says, "You will see, very soon Egypt will say they want to reopen the [1979 Camp David] peace treaty agreement with Israel about how many forces they are allowed to have in the Sinai, and they'll say they need many more in order to monitor the crossing. Their goal is to have as many forces as they can close to Israel."
Some suggest that the destruction of the fence puts all kinds of pressure on Egypt, creating a new dynamic that may actually work to Israel's advantage--but there are no developments in the Middle East, no matter how fortuitous they may appear, that do not somehow work to Israel's disadvantage.Update: Check out David Hazony's post at Contentions
, where he concludes:
With the floodgates open, there is no siege. The occupation is over. Gaza is now Egypt’s problem.
And Shrinkwrapped notes in the comments that Israel's job of dealing with Kassams out of Gaza just got easier:
...once the missiles fly, Israel can ramp up the retaliatory attacks knowing that if things deteriorate further in Gaza, the human shield population will have an exit. The strictures under which Israel operates have just been loosened (which does not mean the Palestinians won’t try to reprise Pallywood, but that it will be increasingly ineffective when the actors have the ability to leave the scene.)
Of course, when Israel left Lebanon and disengaged from Gaza, the same sort of claim was made. Whether the new dynamic makes a difference, and Hamas made have made life easier for Israel, remains to be seen.
After all--there is still Olmert.
Crossposted on Soccer Dad
Technorati Tag: Israel and Gaza and Hamas and Egypt.