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Middle East--resolving conflict « Previous | |Next »
June 17, 2007

Sometimes the issues and causes of conflict in the Middle East are rather clear cut:

Jabro Stavro

More often than not, however, they are complex and this is especially the case in the Palestinian occupied territories.

As Tony Karon observes over at Rootless Cosmopolitian the reason for the violence between Hamas and Fatah:

is not that Palestinians have not “sorted out their politics” — they’ve made their political preferences abundantly clear in democratic elections, and latter in a power-sharing agreement brokered by the Saudis. The problem is that the U.S. and the corrupt and self-serving warlords of Fatah did not accept either the election result or the unity government, and have conspired actively ever since to reverse both by all available means, including starving the Palestinian economy of funds, refusing to hand over power over the Palestinian Authority to the elected government, and arming and training Fatah loyalists to militarily restore their party’s power.

That US/Israeli siege strategy, directed by Elliott Abrams, the US Deputy National Security Advisor, now lies in tatters. Fatah is no longer a credible fighting or political force in Gaza. Hamas is in power because the Palestinian people want it to their government.

Another step would be for Israel to give up being a Jewish nation-state.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:37 PM | | Comments (2)


that wall has always made me feel nervous. The way it is shaped. Makes me think it is designed to contain a blast.

Living behind a wall to ensure a Jewish Israel seems a desperate solution. Walls prevent suicide bombers, but they can be blown up with bombs and Hamas rockets can fly over walls.

However, Israel continues to maintain control over the Gaza Strip’s lifeline energy and water needs. And the Hamas' Islamist authority in Gaza continues to a crippling international siege. Yet Gaza depends on Hamas for social

It's politics not military might that it is going to resolve this conflict. Palestinians need to be persuaded that there really is a way out that leads to real statehood. if the Israeli's were serious about a two-state solution, they would immediately, unilaterally, stop all settlement activity. They aren't. Nor are they willing to address the return of refugees as that would compromise the 'Jewish character' of Israel.

Nor will there be U.S.-led external diplomatic pressure on Israel to give up settlements on the West Bank in the absence of such . Domestic political constraints prevent it. However, the White House is the key to a better US policy towards Israel, not butting heads with AIPAC over its control of Congress (AIPAC has Congress in its back pocket).