Since 2005, when Israel quitted Gaza completely (uprooting 10,000 Jewish settlers), some 4,000 rockets have been launched. This raises a simple question often purposely obscured in discussions of the Middle East conflict: If the dispute is all about Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, why have the Palestinians chosen to use their newly won autonomy in Gaza to launch attacks on Israel? Why have they not been seeking investment from oil-rich Gulf states and sympathetic Europeans to develop industry, build bike paths, and open restaurants?There are basic facts that cast a clear light on what is going on here, and on what is the true motivation of the Palestinian terrorists. However, seeing as they get in the way of the more comfortable narrative that makes for the easier, more visceral response of righteous indignation--events of just 3 years ago are as easily forgotten as those from over 40.
Hamas is the instigator? Well, Hamas is without doubt a serious problem, having wrested control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority in June 2007. Hamas is dedicated to Israel’s destruction and does not even pretend to be engaged in a peace process. But the Qassams have been flying since 2005, when the “moderate” Mahmoud Abbas controlled the area. If this sounds familiar, it should. Back in the days when Yassir Arafat controlled the PLO, the argument was constantly advanced that all would be well if the Palestinians could simply get hold of the West Bank and Gaza Strip for a homeland of their own. Of course, the Arab League created the PLO and Arafat launched his first terror attack on Israel in 1964, three years before Israel came into possession of the West Bank and Gaza.
The actors in this drama just don't fit the script.