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Gaza, Hamas and the Stockholm Syndrome.

Reader comment on item: [Israel's Gaza Withdrawal:] A Democracy Killing Itself

Submitted by Stephen Margolis (Switzerland), Oct 22, 2008 at 17:23

Ever since Israel decided to conduct a unilateral evacuation of said territory, mostly due to pressure from Washington vis a vis the Road Map, which to this writer leads to nowhere .,We have seen changes in the Gaza Strip. For the unitiated, its called the Gaza Strip due to its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea and its unique geographical shape, it is a strip of almost wasteland stretching along the coast from Israel to Egypt. This piece of "real estate" has no ore minerals or oil. Except for olive oil,dates,tomatoes, cucumbers and some stage exported flowers to Israel. Gaza, had a thriving agricultural based business with its major trading partner, Israel. That's now past.

The downfall of Gaza, began when the Palestinian Authority could not keep up with repeated promises made to the citizens, mainly on basics, such as schooling,electricity,water,fuel and a host of social services. It become well known, amongst the population that members of the Palestinian Authority were involved in shamless bribery and corrupt deals, furthermore the down sizing and nonpayment of school teachers,government workers and police officers helped thrust Hamas social workers onto the scene.

Here began the changes. Almost like a breath of fresh air for the suffering population. Kindergartens,schools,social services, health care clinics with doctors and caring nurses.sprang up. Word spread throughout the territory, Hamas the militant group became the saviours. This amount of good will can only be calculated when on a final showdown, with the support of Washington and an uneasy Israel agreed that elections, fair democratic elections between Fatah and Hamas be held. Naturally, Hamas won, by a landslide. The initial support from Washington, was not forthcoming, maybe due to Israeli pressure or simply maybe due to the failure of Washington and its rather agressive neocon foreign policy vis a vis Shia Arabs.

Today, Hamas has full control over a population of some 1.4 million mixed Shia,Sunni and Chritians. Due to repeated threats both to and by Israel, the constant firing of both Grad 2 and Kassam missiles and the occasional motars on Sderot and Ashkelon, Hamas found itself vitually at war with Jewish State.

The kidnapping of Israel soldier Gilad Shalit, the Israeli targeted assasinations of Hamas military wing leaders created an out of control situation, which could have ended with a full blown invasion by the I.D.F. However, again, somewhere in the Deep State of Egypt, both military and political advisors to Presedent Hosni Mubarak warned of an impending spillover, for its known that the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt supports both financially and morally, the Hamas Government in Gaza. The Muslim Brotherhood is also determined to bring down the secular government of Mr.Mubarak.

The current truce,brokered by the offices of Pres.Mubarak between Hamas and Israel has succeeded and could well be construed a success. However the Rafah Crossing into Egypt remains closed, whilst Hamas has over 800 tunnels operating with laid tracks and trolleys, bringinin in a wide variety of goods from auto parts to livestock and perfumes. These tunnel operators, under the supevision of Hamas pay a royalty of over 20 million US Dollars per month to Hamas. Regarding the entry of weapons and explosives, Hamas has its various tunnels controlled by its own security forces. These tunnels are hand dug, some reach over 1 kilometer in length, where possible they are deep, so escape seismic sensors.

The future of the Palestinians residents in Gaza is bleak. Hamas wishes to reconcile with Fatah and MR.Abbas. However the Hamas Charter is the destruction of Israel. Mr.Abbas is searching rather for self preservation and negotiations with Israel. Hamas prefers violence. The residents of Gaza given the chance, would move to Ramallah in the West Bank, where at least they have a future and can educate their children and not live mainly on handouts from the NGO•s and United Nations.

These people deserve a better life, yet the are held hostage by a defacto terrorist dictatorship that they unwittingly voted for. This paternalistic approach by the leaders of Hamas so often reminds this writer of the Stockholm Syndrome.


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