So this is the future

‘Easing’ the Gaza blockade will create a revolutionary, Iran-backed, genocidal and anti-Semitic Islamist statelet on the Mediterranean.

By BARRY RUBIN
June 21, 2010 22:38
4 minute read.
Gaza bound truck

311_Gaza crossing. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski/The Jerusalem Post))

Israel has looked for a Gaza policy that preserves its security, undermines Hamas and reduces international criticism – in that order of priority. Thus, the cabinet has approved an altered strategy on the Gaza Strip.

The main principle can be summarized as emphasizing anything that can be used for military purposes but easing up on the destabilizing effort. This makes sense, since the international community’s protection of the Hamas regime – even though it is a revolutionary Islamist, terrorist, genocideintending, anti-Western client of Iran that will fight Israel and subvert Egypt – makes its overthrow impossible anyway.

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The June 20 cabinet decision states: “Israel’s policy is to protect its citizens against terror, rocket and other attacks from Gaza. In seeking to keep weapons and war materiel out of Gaza while liberalizing the system by which civilian goods enter Gaza...”

Thus, the first principle is: Publish a list of items not permitted into Gaza that is limited to weapons and war materiel, including problematic dual-use items. All items not on this list will be permitted to enter Gaza.

This is a great contraction of previous lists. A range of construction materials – cement, which can also be used for military bunkers; pipes that can be used for making rockets – must be watched closely.

Hence, point two: Enable and expand the inflow of dual-use construction materials for approved PA-authorized projects (schools, health facilities, water, sanitation, etc.) that are under international supervision, and for housing projects such as the UN housing development being completed at Khan Yunis. Israel intends to accelerate the approval of such projects.

The theory is that international agencies will make sure the material is used for building nice things, not pillboxes or reinforced bunkers. No doubt Israel will report on whether this promise is kept (though reports to the contrary will probably be ignored). The land crossings will be expanded to admit more materials at a faster rate, and procedures for letting people leave for medical treatment or other purposes will be streamlined.

WHAT DOES Israel get in exchange? The decision states: “The current security regime for Gaza will be maintained. Israel reiterates that along with the US, EU and others, it considers Hamas a terrorist organization.

The international community must insist on a strict adherence to the Quartet principles regarding Hamas.”

In other words, there will be the continued political isolation of Hamas which, by the way, is still holding Gilad Schalit captive.

What does Israel give up? The entire strategy of trying to reduce Gaza’s economy and the rewards that Hamas can give its supporters. In other words, while Hamas’s military capacity is kept as low as possible, it can stay in power for decades. While this represents a considerable “retreat,” it is not so meaningful in practice since – as noted above – nobody is going to allow Israel to overthrow the regime in Gaza.

So this is the future: A revolutionary Islamist statelet, a long-term outpost of Iran, a base for spreading terrorism and subversion, a source for genocidal anti-Semitic propaganda has been established on the shores of the Mediterranean. For all practical purposes, one could have made this declaration two or four years ago. Now it is clear.

Some people might find the above paragraph controversial. But it is all obvious.

Hamas will be in power in the Gaza Strip for a long time. Who is going to remove it? It is a client of Iran. Certainly it is under embargo for arms, but it functions a lot like an independent state for practical purposes. It will return to war against Israel at the first opportunity. It teaches its people to kill Jews and to be terrorists.

That doesn’t mean all Gazans support it, but those who don’t can do nothing about it.

Moreover, the Hamas regime receives indirect aid because the Palestinian Authority pays much of its civil service, and Western projects are designed to help its people.

Yes, of course there are limits on what it can do, given its size and the pressure still put on by Egypt and Israel. But this is an accurate description. Putting it bluntly sounds harsh, but the reality is harsh.

And what could be more ironic than the fact that Western governments, frantic for an Israeli-Palestinian peace, have just helped put one more gigantic roadblock in the way? Even without Hamas ruling almost half of those under Palestinian rule, the PA probably wouldn’t be able to make peace. The consolidation of a Hamas state makes that inability a certainty.

While a change in Israeli policy can be said to mark this new era, the outcome should not be blamed on the government, since the situation was made inevitable by Western policy. The world has no idea what it has done, or how much blood will flow as a result of this failure. People will write about this being true in five or 10 years.

You are reading about it right now.

The writer is director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center and editor of Middle East Review of International Affairs and Turkish Studies. He blogs at www.rubinreports.blogspot.com.


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