Sharon: Planned provocation in the West Bank
This article in the leading Israeli newspaper, Ha'aretz, makes clear what too many corporate owned media in the US have missed in the past two days: Israeli Prime Minister Sharon's plan to remove settlers from the Gaza area was part of his larger plan to extend and enhance Israeli dominance over the West Bank.
The Ha'aretz editorial states, however, that Sharon's eminent doman action in the West Bank two days ago was a "poorly timed provocation." Not really. Once one gets into Sharon's mindset, his actions, particularly the assassination of the Islamic Jihad members are consistent with his plan. Sharon knows that the terrorist forces would (and did) say, as it has on previous occasions after Sharon provocations, that they will seek "revenge," which means more suicide bombers are suiting up. However, as Sharon knows and these Islamicist murderous thugs don't understand, every time there's a suicide bombing, Sharon gets to take further retailitory moves, including further control over the West Bank.
This is a deadly game that Prime Minister Sharon and his predecessors have pursued in a fairly effective manner. Sharon himself has long dismissed Gaza as a concern because of the construction of roads in Gaza that favor quick and relatively easy Israeli military access. Sharon's primary interest has been in retaining most of the West Bank. Nothing has changed in Sharon's intent in the past year as the Gaza withdrawal was planned and eventually implemented.
And while we're at it, let's look back over the past 20 years. The Palestinians, at first glance, seem to be gaining as they just received the Gaza. On the other hand, there is little doubt that the Palestinians, had they been able to rely upon a Martin-Luther-King-oriented leader, would likely have guilted enough of the Israeli public (which doesn't like putting their children at risk in the military to protect settlements in the "occupied territories", which is what the Israeli government officially has called the Gaza and West Bank) to give back both the West Bank and Gaza years ago (Jerusalem is a different story, though).
The late Israeli diplomat Abba Eban has famously quipped that the Palestinians "never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity." Eban was talking about an opportunity for "peace."
However, one may properly say this quip applies to both the Israeli and Palestinian leadership. The Israeli government should have, long ago, jettisoned the West Bank and Gaza. A wall along the Green Line (Israel's 1967 borders) made the most sense and any incursion by Arab nations over that wall could have been met with a retaliation of full force against the incursion forces or terrorists no different than any other nation has pursued in the past 150 years, at least.
For those who are extremists on the Israeli side, please don't bother with the old European Jewish ghetto-mind set and paranoiac whine: "The world would condemn the Israelis anyway. They'll only applaud when we lay down and die!"
Sorry. The Israelis are tough and can take the criticism, as they have continued to take criticism over the years. For example, the Israelis were condemned for bombing Iraq's nuclear facilities in 1981. But it wasn't long before the world moved on and over the years, most commentators and diplomats were happy at the actions Israel had taken aginst Iraq's nuclear facilities. The leaders of the nations of the so-called "West" (US, Japan, what we have called "Western" Europe) will not condemn Israel for defending itself or even going all out after such a hypotetical incursion. And if there was grumbling or criticism, again, the Israelis are in a position to take it and shrug it off.