Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Caroline Glick Interview: Only Four Options In Gaza?

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, interviews Caroline Glick. It's a pretty straightforward interview about Israel's Operation Cast Lead.

At one point, Lopez asks about the future for a Hamas-led Gaza, and Glick responds:
There are four possible outcomes for Israel’s current campaign — two would be positive and two would be negative. The best outcome would be for Israel to overthrow Hamas’s regime and destroy its capacity to wage war against Israel or threaten Israel in any significant way. To achieve this goal, Israel would have to reassert control over Gaza. Since the Israeli government has already stated that Israel will not reassert control over Gaza, and since reasserting control would be extremely embarrassing for the current leadership, which led Israel out of Gaza with promises of peace three and a half years ago, it is fairly clear that this outcome will not be forthcoming.

The next best outcome would be something analogous to the end of the 1991 Gulf War. Although the U.S. left Saddam Hussein in power after that war, it asserted control over the no-fly zones and set up a clear sanctions regime that by and large prevented Iraq from rearming and apparently prevented Iraq from reconstituting its weapons of mass destruction programs.

Here too, chances that this outcome will prevail are not great because the Israeli government has already stated that it is unwilling to reassert control over Gaza’s border with Egypt which is where most of Hamas’s weapons are imported from.

The third possible outcome, which is already not a good one, would be for Israel to end its current campaign and just walk away with Hamas still in charge. In due course, Hamas would reconstitute its military forces and missile arsenals and reinstate its campaign against Israel. The positive aspect of such a future is simply that, subject to domestic political constraints, Israel would be able to go in and bomb Hamas anytime it felt that threatened. Israel would be under no international obligation to avoid defending itself, beyond the regular anti-Israel pressure.

The fourth, and worst possible outcome is that Israel reaches some sort of internationally sponsored ceasefire agreement whereby foreign powers the EU, the U.S., Egypt, Turkey, or whomever agree to form some sort of international monitoring mechanism to oversee Gaza’s borders with Israel and Egypt. The reason this would be the worst outcome is that Israel’s experience with such forces in Lebanon and in Gaza itself has been wholly negative. These international forces will never fight Israel’s battles for it. Instead they inevitably shield terrorists from Israeli attack while ignoring the terrorists’ moves to rearm, reassert political control over their populations and reinstate their assaults against Israel. Moreover, because these international forces fear the terrorists they shield, they tend to side with them against Israel and blame Israel for any violence that takes place.

Unfortunately, this is the outcome that the Israeli government is now pushing for in its diplomatic contacts relating to the war in Gaza. [emphasis added]
Two questions:

1. Does Israel really prefer that last option, of having foreign moderators? Is Israel really all that pleased with the results of having UN moderators in Lebanon? Noah Pollak wrote back in October about the unsurprising report the UN came out about how the UNIFIL was doing in Lebanon:
In a development certain to shock nobody, the UN has released a report on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701, the cease-fire agreement that paused the Israel-Hizballah war last summer. The new report confirms what most sentient people predicted: that Resolution 1701 would accomplish nothing. Ban Ki-moon’s report assents to what Israeli intelligence and military officials have been saying since the end of the war, namely that Iran and Syria have encountered few obstacles to rearming Hizballah with better weapons.

I had the impression that Israel favored the option of having Fatah take over in Gaza, an option that--if put into place--would make the implementation of the two-state solution an even stronger possibility.

2. Come to think of it, why doesn't Glick mention as an option having Fatah take over in Gaza after Hamas is removed or phased out? At one point during the interview, Glick remarks that
even if the current Fatah leadership is really ready to finally lay down its arms, prosecute terrorists and reconcile to Israel, it cannot lead Palestinian society or the larger Arab world to the same conclusion.
Does Glick find having Fatah back in Gaza so unthinkable that she does not even consider the option?

Better question: why does the Israeli government apparently thing the return of Fatah is the ideal option?

In any case, we will have to wait and see what Israel is able allowed to do in Gaza.

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Anonymous said...

The fact that Fatah puts on a moderate face does not mean it would in the end make peace. Its own history in inconsistent with that theory.

Daled Amos said...

True, but the West needs to think there is a moderate out there. If they could convince themselves that Arafat could be a peace partner, then Abbas is a no brainer.

Still, that does not explain why Glick did not even mention letting Fatah back into Gaza as one of the options--not even as one of the bad ones.