Hotheads Fumble Passing of the Torch

Editorial (Chicago Sun-Times) - * The first hours of independence for the fledgling Palestinian state in Gaza were lit by the glare of burning synagogues. After 38 years of occupation, the Israeli army pulled back Monday from territory taken in the 1967 Six-Day War. They did so in the name of peace, but it cannot be a good sign that the Palestinians chose to mark the event with gunfire and arson, torching the religious sites which Israel, in an agonizing decision, left standing. * Israel was unwilling, in a world where synagogues have been so regularly destroyed, to be responsible for demolishing houses of prayer, despite the certainty that the Palestinians would tear them down. The worst expectations were soon realized - after the final Israeli soldier left, a mob burned and desecrated these houses of worship. * Of course the Palestinian Authority stood by and did nothing, and, sad to say, the mob's rampage and the PA's inaction met zero outrage from a world insensate to the desecration of Jewish sites. * The responsible path would be to treat Gaza as the dry run to a larger Palestinian state and to recognize that, with the absence of Israelis, it will become indefensible to continue to blame Israel for all their woes, and so begin the difficult task of running a functional state, tapping into the enormous international aid awaiting an operating Palestinian government. * The torching of synagogues, the gunfire, the incendiary claims of Hamas and Islamic Jihad that this is the first step in conquering all of Israel might feel good to the egos of Palestinians. But they are not the road that will bring later success.

2005-09-14 00:00:00

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