In the aftermath of the Hamas victory and expulsion of Fatah from the Gaza strip, we have witnessed a buzz of activity and numerous protestations mixed with declarations of intent to support Fatah and Abbas. With seemingly very little thought or reasoning these reactions are based on a knee-jerk reaction to the weakening of Fatah and the nearly irrelevant Abbas. One can only hope that sanity will at some point overtake the irrational leaps of faith that are now the mainstay of the world’s political reaction to these dramatic and consequential events. This is one time where the old adage that most of us heard from our mothers, to count to ten before acting and making a fool out of oneself, perhaps this time the need may be to count to a couple hundred thousand rather than rush foolishly and blindly forward.
Even before the fighting had ended there was a rush to voice support for Fatah and Abbas. This backing was given despite the extremely poor performance and lack of meaningful resistance shown by Fatah. Not only did Fatah hand Gaza to Hamas on a silver platter, they did not even take the precaution of destroying any of the military supplies and equipment recently given to them for the expressed purpose of holding Hamas in check. So it now appears that rather than arming Fatah we have in reality armed Hamas. What do you think was the immediate response to this virtual turn over of equipment by Fatah to Hamas? Of course it is to now provide Fatah with replacement for all the equipment they had turned over to Hamas. My bet is in the near future even more equipment will be given to Fatah in order to empower them adequately against the newly armed Hamas. Personally I think rearming Fatah is a mistake due to my premise that this was a staged conflict intended to arm Hamas while panicking the West into foolishly resupplying Fatah and pressuring Israel for concessions. Read the article on this subject here.
Even more foolish than rearming Fatah is the rush by many governments including much of Europe and the United States to reestablish full aid packages to Fatah. The rationale being that Fatah now rules the West Bank without any Hamas influence henceforth all concerns about the Hamas influence has been removed. I unfortunately do not believe this is true as I would be willing to bet (if such were legal) that much of this crisis was manufactured by agreement between Hamas and Fatah leadership to restart the funding gravy train. If this proves to be the case then it has worked in spades. Not only are the funds about to come pouring into the West Bank and Fatah, but many, especially in Europe, are declaring that they will continue all humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. Already the first steps of this have become fact. The Israeli company that supplies petroleum products to the Gaza Strip had made a statement that it would reduce the fuel shipments to a level that was sufficient to power the electrical generators and no more. Within 24 hours they were coerced to continue to fully supply all the fuel needs of the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, Israel has been informed that it would be helpful if they allowed any and all humanitarian shipments to pass into Gaza. Doesn’t that just give you goose-bumps and a warm fuzzy feeling? Me as well.
Giving supposed humanitarian aid to the residents in Gaza only serves to free up any funding Hamas might be receiving to be utilized for weapons and explosives purchasing. It also allows Hamas to rule Gaza free of any responsibility to provide for the citizens as that burden is taken from their shoulders and any suffering will be blamed on the lack of funding from those supplying the humanitarian aid. Just whoever thought this was a great idea really needs to take some time for some introspection or seek counseling. We will never defeat Hamas or other terror organizations if we lift from them the burdens and responsibility of caring for the populations under their care. When will we realize that any aid we give to these areas is in essence military aid as that is what any funds freed up by these well-meaning actions will be utilized? This is especially true for many, if not most, of the residents in Gaza as they were instrumental in bringing Hamas to power as well as making the recent coup possible. Why we are so bent on removing any responsibility for the actions of terror organizations from those who support them? This rush to hold nobody to account for their actions or lack of actions will not bring the changes desired.
The final push by the United States, the United Nations, and the European Union to pressure Israel to not only allow aid to Gaza and resume the payment of tax funds to the West Bank but to also pull many of their security personnel, IDF troops, roadblocks, and checkpoints from the West Bank in an effort to make Abbas look to have accomplished some gains is insane. When this push is made under the full disclosure in the press and is shouted from all corners it makes Abbas look like the helpless weak leader he is who only is allowed progress when given as a gift by the West. This will do nothing to bolster Abbas’s standings and will actually work against him. Add to that the loss of control and intelligence gathering on the Israeli side and this sets up the same result in the West Bank as we just had in Gaza. Much of what the powers that be are proposing are very similar to what brought about the Hamas coup in Gaza, which was predicated on Israel’s complete withdrawal. My opinion is that there are many of the leaders of Hamas who are laughing themselves silly at all this frantic frothing at the mouth coming from Israel and her supposed allies. Hamas could not have scripted a more favorable outcome from their point of view. What is the saddest point is that few to none of our decision-makers can see their folly for what it is, pure acquiescence to both Hamas and Fatah at Israel’s expense. I pray some of these foolish leaders awaken before it is too late.
Beyond the Cusp