Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Today's events show once more how complicated things are in the Middle East, and how everything is linked to everything else.
Islamic Jihad, trying to prove that it is still capable of carrying out attacks and playing a central role in the Palestinian national 'struggle', sends a suicide bomber to Hadera. This is not the kind of attack that was initiated yesterday or last Sunday, preparations for such attacks are being made constantly, and when the timing seems right the murderers do their job, unless Israeli security forces are able to stop them. The timing today is particularly interesting in the light of Iran's president's saying that Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth, among other things by Palestinian attacks ( by the way, the Dutch Foreign Ministry reacted as it should have, by announcing it will summong the Iranian ambassador; the Spanish Foreign Ministry did or will do the same, as will other the Foreign Ministries of other countries, I suppose ). Iran is still a major sponsor and supporter of terror, as is Syria, which is doing its best to remain somehow relevant in the eyes of all Muslims and others who would love to see Israel disappear. The main offices of both Islamic Jihad and Hamas are located in or managed from the Syrian capital. The international pressure on Damascus and Teheran most probably played a role in the timing of this particular attack. That Islamic Jihad claimed the attack to be a retaliation for the liquidation of its West Bank leader does not mean very much: just as Israel can find a justification for liquidating any Palestinian terrorist at least once or twice a week, terrorist are not really looking for particular reasons to maim and kill Israeli citizens or soldiers. In the competition for popular support in the Palestinian street - based on the answer to the question who sends the most martyrs to Israel and kills the most Zionists - Hamas, knowing that its political and social activities are not enough to remain as influential and relevant as it is today, also made very aggressive statements these days. I would not be surprised if in the coming weeks or months one or more Hamas and/or Islamic Jihad terrorists will be targeted in Syria itself. As for the leaders of the two organizations in Gaza and the Westbank, each of them is a potential target, even more than he was until today. After all, Ariel Sharon cannot afford to appear weak ( the Yesha council - many of us had almost forgotten it still existed - obviously had to publish one of its famous told-you-so statements; after a vacation of about two months the young settlers and settlers' supporters have rediscovered their mission of making the work of our security forces even harder than it already is: "Right-wing youths set up at least five illegal outposts in West Bank (Channel 1)" ), after he linked the disengagement to better security for Israel, and he has to show that the Qassam attacks from Gaza - which started the latest round of violence, if you can speak about starting something when you are dealing with a vicious circle - are dealt with as if they were attacks from an autonomous ( Palestinian ) state. At the same time, it gives Israel another excuse not to start real negotiations with the Palestinian Authority: Sharon clearly prefers unilateral measures to negotiated compromises. Personally I would not mind if Israel took - at least some - unilateral steps, as long as the outcome is a viable Palestinian state ( for all I care with a part of ( Arab ) Jerusalem as its capital: it is not as if we really make the decisions there ) and definite, secure and defendable borders for Israel. Not only would such borders make it much harder for Palestinian terrorists to enter Israel ( remember: very few terrorists entered Israel from Gaza ), they would also make it easier for Israel to 'sell' military answers to attacks such as the one today in Hadera. And hey, maybe with such a border the Vatican will finally condemn suicide terror attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets as much as it condemns other acts of terror.
Disengagement, Iran's nuclear policies, Syria-Lebanon, Islamist and Palestinian terror, Israel's national politics, everything has to do with everything else. The only thing that I could not fit in easily in this improvised survey was the visit of Mr William Gates, but I am sure that in some logical way that was related to today's terror attack as well.
Posted by Bert at 9:03 PM