Hamas, Fatah, and the New Palestinian Reality

[Weekly Standard] Tom Rose - The birth of the world's first truly terrorist state in Gaza was quickly followed by a Western response that, if sustained, all but guarantees that terror state's survival. After 45 years of ground work preparing for Hamas' takeover by radicalizing Palestinian society through blood-curdling terrorism, mind-boggling corruption, and world-class inefficiency, the U.S. and Israeli governments have announced their gratitude to Fatah with a billion dollar emergency aid package. Force-feeding life back into the PLO will not weaken Hamas. Palestinian society cannot be transformed by reviving the group responsible for its degradation. How does one fight terrorism by rewarding those who invented it? Do "Fatah first" advocates believe that financially rewarding the already heavily-armed and well-funded "security" fighters of Fatah, who turned tail and ran at the sight of Hamas gunmen, will lead them now to fight to retake their posts, having gotten a check from Washington? Do they think the PLO's corruption is best combated by re-upping the employment contracts for its 200,000 dysfunctional bureaucrats - 60,000 of whom are the gangsters, thugs, and terrorists associated with the PLO's 13 so-called "security services"? The PLO is finished. The Palestinians know it. The Arabs know it. Only we don't know it. As far as most Palestinians are concerned, Abbas is nothing but a figment of the West's imagination. The militias and armies that make up Fatah control Abbas. He does not control them. Abbas has no following and the plan to prop him up won't succeed for long. It is in Gaza that Hamas can assemble serious and dangerous weaponry with which to attack Israel (not to mention other Palestinians). It is in Gaza, not the West Bank, where agents of the Iranian regime will plant themselves for renewed war against Israel. It is in Gaza where al-Qaeda and other terrorists are already establishing themselves. Gaza is a terror threat, and the West Bank could well become even more of one than it is now. This is the reality democratic leaders should face, rather than wishing what is happening were not.

2007-06-28 01:00:00

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