Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I consider my fellow bloggers here at TAB to be experts on Middle East issues. Alas, I am not. So I spent considerable time this past weekend trying to wrap my brain around what has been going on in Gaza. I read all of my fellow TAB's posts and many, many articles and posts on it all. As a result, I came up with this cliffs notes version of some of what is going on. I figure there are probably at least a couple other people out there whose eyes glaze over when they hear about Gaza in the news. I hope this will help others, like myself, to understand things a little better.
Washington politicians take note: Gaza is what can happen when you precipitously pull your military forces out of a Middle Eastern war zone without making sure there is in place a truly democratic government and adequately trained and armed security forces capable of insuring law and order.--Joel Rosenberg

Hamastan is here, Welcome to Hell--Israeli Press

The basics:
Gaza--A 25 mile strip of land with a population of 1.4 million people

Lands occupied by Palestinians--Gaza and The West Bank

Hamas--Recognized Terrorist organization supported by Iran and Syria

Fatah--Supposed to be a more moderate Palestinian group backed by the Western World but some argue it is also a terrorist group that just pretends to acknowledge Israel, was started by Yasser Arafat (who publicly would denounce suicide bombers but was known to secretly support them)

Palestinian President--Mahmud Abbas (member of Fatah)

2006 elections--Members of Hamas were elected to the Palestinian government which thus gave a known terrorist organization shared power with Fatah.

Civil War--Between Hamas and Fatah for control of Gaza, which fell within a few days to Hamas

When did the Civil War start?--Acts of violence started escalating on Sunday, June 10th.

Control--Hamas now controls the Gaza strip and Fatah controls the West Bank

Killed--At least 113 Palestinians have been killed so far in the bloodshed

Gang-style executions--Carried out by masked Hamas against Fatah and PA security forces in front of their wives and children

Fleeing--Many Palestinians, especially members of Fatah have tried to flee from Gaza knowing their lives are at risk but Gaza has been sealed off

International Embargo--After Hamas took control of part of the Palestinian government an embargo was placed on aid to the Palestinian people. The embargo may be lifted against the West Bank since Hamas will no longer be in the government there.

Whose fault is all of this?--According to our very own Boston Globe, Israel. It is unfathomable to me how 2 Palestinian groups at war with each other could be Israel's fault but it is like everything here, somehow no matter what happens everything is George W. Bush's fault.

Israel's response--Plans are already being made to take out Hamas in Gaza.

Bibi Netanyahu and Natan Sharansky warned in 2005 that it wasn't a good idea for Israel to take troops out of Gaza. They had argued that it would show weakness and surrender, I think they have been proven right. I'm not sure what the solution is to this mess now but Joel Rosenberg concludes his excellent post with these 2 thoughts:
1) Iran's efforts to surround Israel and prepare to "wipe Israel off the map" has just been significantly advanced and thus the prospect for a full-blown war in the Middle East this summer or fall now seems more likely, not less; and 2) U.S. politicians had better think twice about a precipitous withdrawal of American military forces in Iraq before the Iraqis are ready unless they want a repeat of the nightmare now unfolding in Gaza.

**I wrote this post several days ago in preparation for the radio show and then of course, never even got to it. Since I wrote this more has happened. Joel Rosenberg has this update at his blog.


TeachESL said...

You stated: "Palestinian lands: Gaza and the West Bank" By saying that you are assuming that there is such a people called "Palestinians." There isn't. Never has been. Ask your experts on your blog. Or do some more research yourself. The West Bank has that name from when Jordan ruled illegally over it from 1948 to 1967 until Israel liberated Judea and Samaria (its real names). Now as for Gaza, there are some rabbis who state that Gaza isn't part of historical Eretz Yisrael though Jews have lived there at various times throughout the past 2,000 years. This is why during Shmita year - every seven years (when the lands of Eretz Yisrael lay fallow) produce grown in Gaza is kosher to eat. How we are going to do it this New Year is beyond me. Or if we even should! Let themk have Gaza! But Yehuda and Shomron? (Judea and Smaria) NO WAY!! That is the heart of our historical homeland!

Dionne said...

I'm aware of all that. It was a pragmatic statement meant to help others understand where the Palestinians now reside. I suppose I should've termed it that they occupy those lands.