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Yes and No

Reader comment on item: Two Palestines, Anyone?

Submitted by john w mcginley (United States), Jun 19, 2007 at 18:12

Yes: "... the Bush Administration's heedless rush to elections in 2004."

No: "...Ariel Sharon's short-sighted, feckless withdrawal from the Gaza."

To be sure what has recently happened in Gaza was not part of Sharon's intention. And the fact of the matter is that an Israel led by Sharon would have managed the post-evaculation of the Gaza radically differently than did Olmert. Olmert frittered away the time between Sharon's stroke and the Shalit kidnapping with half-measures which only fueled the spirit and hopes of both Khamas and Hizbollah.

Sharon would not, of course, have re-occupied the Gaza. But he would have punished severely the original moves made by Khamas after the evacuations. Nor would have allowed East Jerusaelm Arabs to vote in the 2004 farce of elections. With Sharon in power Hizbollah would not have taken the action it took. It was Israel's ineffective flurry, after the Shalit kidnapping, of air and rocket strikes in the Gaza WITHOUT going for the jugular (i.e., taking out immediately the Khamas leadership in the Gaza AND in Syria) which emboldened Hizbollah to make its move on July 12th of 2006. Sharon would have gone for the jugular.

Nonetheless, the present outcome does offer an opportunity. I suspect that Fatah will now drift towrds a willingness to make a real and realistic settlement with Israel. Gaza, of course, will fester. Israel -- if it shooses to exercise the power it has -- can protect itself by sealing off the Gaza by land, air, and sea (except for medicine, water, and food) by re-occupying the border between Gaza and Egypt creating a one-mile total evacuation area which will stymie the effort to arm the K NOT for settlement, but to inhibit arms shipments.

John W. McGinley

Submitting....

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