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by Mickey Zavi
Tuesday, May. 04, 2004 at 6:45 PM
The murder of a pregnant Israeli settler and her four children by extremists has torpedoed a Palestinian state once again.
"Stuck here out of gas, out here on the Gaza strip, from driving to fast....."
Driving too fast is exactly what Ariel Sharon was trying to do. With U.S. backing and a fistfull of promised dollars for resettlement elsewhere, Sharon tried to convince the 7,500 lunatics on the Gaza strip to move to other settlements or possibly the Negev desert where they would supposedly be given enough water to make it bloom.
As crazy an idea as it was, this step, although minimal on the large scale of Mid-East peace, was collossal. In essence, a large portion of what Palestinians wanted was granted, and no cease fire or mutual fairness was called for from the Palestinian side. A great demand of theirs would have been met without the end of terror or a substantial move to the end.
Enter two stupid gunmen and a pregnant fanatic with four kids driving a dangerous highway alone. It's a recipe for disaster. Surely everyone on the Palestinian side had to know that this would make the withdrawal harder for Sharon. Surely everyone on the Israeli side had to know that this was the plan. Why should Palestinians allow Israel to disengage? There are millions of dollars in homes they could gain for their people. However, any type of disengagement would eventually end in people expecting the Palestinian government to be normal. That is, to be mired in financial problems and educational problems like normal people are, instead of terror. No Arab country to date has managed a fair and reputable government. In fact, the only thing they have suceeded in doing is making our fair and reputable government unfair and disreputable.
Giving Likud a reason to vote this plan down assured Arafat's job status, assured Hamas' status as a hatemonger, and assured that Palestinians will live in poverty for centuries to come. Meanwhile, the hawk who tried to take baby steps towards liberal thought and clinched U.S. approval for one of the most agressive stances on the right of return, is now in an arboretum with nowhere to fly. It would be akin to having Bush back family planning and suddenly having McCain ruin his chance of funding it.
Regardless of the Likud's pronounced rejection of the land for nothing proposal, Sharon still has a good chance of having regular Israelis accept the withdrawal. For quite simply, Israelis do not want their children defending Gaza anymore.
The sad thing is that Sharon's plan offered Israelis a dignified withdrawal, perhaps gaining nothing but able to respond better in the event of an attack. And although Bush denied the right of return, who could really deny that right to a newly peaceful people who had proven themselves? The West bank would have eventually gone as well, but the first step was thwarted. This vote was indeed a response to an attack, and the resounding word was no land for nothing, every pregnant woman counts. The Palestinians must guarantee a full cease fire before one inch of land is placed back in their controll. The problem is, none of them are qualified to get such a collective deal.
So it's another day on the Gaza strip, and Sharon will go ahead as planned, and Arafat will keep his people hating Jews because he wants their attention off the fact that he robs them blind. But a chance has been missed at a step in the right direction, a chance to meld rightwing with liberals for a final peace. And a chance for a mother of four, soon to be five, has been taken away forever.
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||Tuesday, May. 04, 2004 at 7:24 PM
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