I was rather surprised by the election of Hamas yesterday. Not that Hamas would have had such strong support, but that Fatah actually went out. While I’m not opposed to Fatah losing its power (what has it done in the last 40 years?), I’m not at all pleased with Hamas. However, there’s no way to know at this point what their plan is at this point.
However, I do think Israel can make a strong case now that they don’t need to work with the Palestinians. But I’ve thought for a long time that Israel should go about trying to reach its goals without concern for what the Palestinians are up to.
Israel’s two main goals are a secure and Jewish country. A democratic country is a nice goal too, but let’s stick with the two obvious goals that I think almost every Israeli could agree on. Israel is Jewish right now (if it were democratic, that would be threatened), but it is far from secure. By definition the settlements cannot ever be fully secured. Any small enclave in a hostile territory will always be in danger.
Apparently Sharon finally saw this when he pressed for the withdrawal from Gaza. Israel should pull out its settlements from the West Bank too. Then it can hunker down if it wants to and create secure borders that will protect its people. In my mind that is the only way Israel can truly provide security for all its citizens.
But many settlers think an idea is more important than security. They are willing to put their lives and their families lives in peril because they believe that because their ancestors lived in a certain place, they should too. (Zeniff in the Book of Mormon comes to mind). The government’s willingness to support them with the IDF only increases the problem.
Security should be more important than proving a point. Those settlers can live safely in other places that also belonged to their ancestors. It is not worth it to live in Hebron, or Samaria, or any number of other places.