Has Israel got the Palestinians where it wants them?

It’s no news to any of you that the Civil War in Gaza is complete, and it ended with a Hamas victory. John Podhoretz sees this as something of a victory for Israel, because she got out of an untenable situation and proved to the world that its untenability resulted from the nature of these being ruled, not from the nature of the rulers:

ISRAEL’S disengagement from Gaza, completed 22 months ago, has succeeded.

It was a demonstration project of a sort – an experiment in Palestinian self-rule. If the management of Gaza had gone well, there would have been a Palestinian state within three years, tops.

OK, now speak these three words to yourself: a Palestinian state.

Finished? Good. So are the words. They won’t be coming out of anybody’s mouth again for a very, very long time – at least not in any meaningful way.

Someone asked Benjamin Franklin what America got out of the Constitutional Convention of 1787. His reply: “A republic – if you can keep it.”

So it was with Gaza in August 2005. The Palestinians got a “homeland, if you can keep it.”

What they got instead was hell on earth.

What they got was two brutally murderous gangs, Fatah and Hamas, competing for power by throwing people off the roofs of buildings and slaughtering rivals in front of their wives and children.

What they got was Tony Soprano (Fatah) vs. Phil Leotardo (Hamas). Only this time, Tony got his head smashed in by the SUV.

This isn’t a civil war – it’s a gang war. And thousands of Palestinian bystanders are going to get shot while these two gangs go to the mattresses.

Ah, the joys of self-rule.

Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister who conceived the disengagement plan, had a brilliant insight: Why not let them have it? They want it? It’s theirs.

(You can read the rest here.)

Sadly, it’s not quite the victory Podhoretz claims, because the media has immediately begun blaming Israel. After demanding Israel’s withdrawal for over a decade, they’re now condemning Israel for having had the temerity to withdraw and to leave the Palestinians to their own tender mercies. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t, I guess.

Nevertheless, for Israel, the withdrawal and the resulting Civil War may still shape up to be a victory in a way that I predicted at the time of the withdrawal — namely, Israel at long last has a viable military target. The Captain sees that real possibility in the fact that Israel was contemplating allowing itself to be a haven for those Fatah leaders who escaped execution (although the munificent Hamas fights seem to be thinking in terms of clemency now). Here’s what the Captain had to say a couple of days ago about both the proposed escape plan and Israel’s probable motives in allowing it to happen:

Fatah wants Israel to execute a Dunkirk to allow Fatah fighters to escape Hamastan:

Meanwhile, hundreds of Fatah men asked Israel to help them flee the Gaza Strip through Gaza seaport, one of the last locations in the Strip still held by Fatah Thursday morning, for fear they would be executed by Hamas gunmen if they remained in Gaza.

The Israelis might decide to do it. They have begun to view Gaza as a “separate enemy state,” according to the Jerusalem Post. This could make dealing with Gaza even easier than before. If Hamas completely controls Gaza, they can attack security installations with impunity, rather than to take care not to undermine Fatah.

I distinctly recall saying to friends and (possibly) writing in my blog that Israel would benefit from having a sovereign state as her enemy, rather than an inchoate territory. And Hamas by making herself so loathsome, is going to be an enemy that will have a harder time finding defenders amongst the less crazed in the Western media (assuming any are left).

Incidentally, Adolfo G. Fabregat, writing at American Thinker, has noticed something interesting in the Civil War in Gaza, and that’s the absence of civilian casualties:

I’ve been searching and searching for reports of civilian casualties in the current fighting between Hamas and Fatah and guess what? I could not find a single instance.

These guys must have very precise weapons.

On the BBC website I visited last night, there was even a prominently displayed “photo gallery” of the conflict. There, I saw pictures of rubble but not to my surprise no babies buried in it; I saw pictures of burnng buildings but none of them were schools or hospitals; and I read reports of casulaties but always vaguely referred to as “people killed”.

It’s really quite fascinating, because for years every headline about an Israeli incursion in Gaza, when Gaza was still Israel’s responsibility, always led with the number of teenage sheep and goat herders caught in the crossfire. That continued even after Israel disengaged, and just tried to protect herself from the Qassams lobbed with regularity over her borders. And that continued despite the fact that, if you had the patience to stick with the news story, you’d always discover that the sheep and goat herders had been throwing grenades at the Israelis or that the toddler killed had been housed in the midst of a Hamas headquarter that had been carefully targeted by Israel so as to avoid unnecessary civilian deaths.

I’m willing to bet, though, that the reporting will revert to type once Hamas escalates its war against Israel and Israel, finally, has a clear shot at an enemy nation across her border. (And, while I can’t trace the precise story down, I know I read on Debka.com, which has sources in Israeli intelligence, that Israel is preparing for a big, multi-front war this summer, a scary thought in and of itself, since it may encompass not only neighboring terrorist states, but even Iran.) Should that happen, you can take it to the bank that the headlines and opening paragraphs will once again be filled with slaughtered children — presumably all the children that managed to escape the bloodbath that has been unfolding at high speed in Gaza right now.

UPDATE:  We often see videos on political sites that come with warnings of “don’t watch this if you get bothered by blood or violence,” but they’re sort of clinical warnings.  Charles Johnson of LGF, however, wrote one of the strongest warnings I’ve ever seen about a video he’s posted, a video that shows what the Hamas thugs are really like:

I’m warning you up front.

Don’t watch this video if you don’t want to see what’s been happening in Gaza, up close, apparently recorded with a cell phone after some unfortunate person was lynched and beaten to a pulp. They’re still kicking the body. And someone helpfully picks up and displays what’s left of the head so the cell phones can get a good shot.

There are no words.

And by the way, I’m not kidding one bit. Don’t watch this if you’re aren’t mentally prepared. I may remove it after a short run.

I’m squeamish, so I didn’t watch it, but because this post is about the fact that Hamas now has control over Gaza and is, I believe, a real military target for Israel, I pass this information about this video on to you.

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