July 29, 2003

The Globalization of Gaza

I have a new Tech Central Station article up today: The Globalization of Gaza.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at July 29, 2003 12:58 AM

I really enjoyed your article. It's unfortunate that so few people make the points that you do. (e.g. the lack of consequence drives the violence )
I have some extended comments on your article at IsraPundit http://israpundit.com/archives/001894.html
David Gerstman
ps Your main point is very similar to Michael Kelly's When Innocents are the Enemy http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A14322-2001Sep11.html

Posted by: David Gerstman at July 29, 2003 02:38 AM

It's too bad Matthew Yglesias' commentors aren't getting it like Matthew is. It's a good article with a lot of good points. But years of pro-Palestine/anti-Israel propaganda will blind some people.

Posted by: Court at July 29, 2003 07:11 AM

Washington Post has a truly incredible editorial comparing the fact that the Palestinians have done NOTHING to implement the road map while the Israelis have not demolished every illegal settlement and only released 600 prisoners (not in the road map by the way).

Posted by: DaveM at July 29, 2003 07:48 AM

Finally, comments...good move !!

The problem with a "renounce violence or else" policy is that it gives terrorists a veto over any political resolution. Since draconian counter-measures against groups like Hamas are precisely what they want (after all, they don't support a two-state policy either, and clearly see future demographic trends as favoring them), continuing an absolutist policy is doomed to failure. And it clearly can't be our policy elsewhere; are we to continue propping up Charles Taylor because the Liberian rebels use violent means to obtain their objectives.

Posted by: Steve Smith at July 29, 2003 11:13 AM


I do think that's the best criticism of my idea here. But I don't know what else to do. There can be no peace until the enemies of peace are defeated. That can't be denied because it is definitionally true. And if no one will fight the terrorists, how will they ever go away? Giving the Palestinians a state won't make them go away; it will encourage them because to them it would be progress, progress achieved at the point of a gun.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 29, 2003 12:53 PM

Which is exactly why you don't negotiate with terrorists. Once you do, it shows others that terrorism works. Once people see that, it spreads.

The Palestinians need to voluntarily end it. They need to oppose the terrorists themselves. That's the only way this will work.

Posted by: Court at July 29, 2003 01:28 PM

So maybe they should just build a wall, and wait for the Palestinians to work things out on the other side? Whether that means more violence or less, it's not going to be Israel's direct problem. Sounds like a pretty decent plan, perhaps. I seem to remember reading in Newsweek a few weeks after 9-11 maybe, an article by Martin Van Creveld (famous Israeli military historian) saying that very same thing.

But without consequences, this road map is a very shaky thing.... I think your article was very articulate in exposing that.

Posted by: CaryF at July 29, 2003 03:30 PM

>It is time to ask ourselves honestly: Is it possible to support a Palestinian state without encouraging terrorists elsewhere?

>There are many stateless Muslims; the Chechens in Russia, the Kurds in the Middle East, the Uighurs in Eastern China, and the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Opinion leaders tsk-tsk the Russians, but no one holds demonstrations for the liberation of Chechnya. The Kurds are good people and they deserve their own state, but nearly everyone agrees it would only make trouble. Few even know the Uighurs exist. Meanwhile, as the Palestinians continue the jihad, the number of their supporters isn't declining. It's rising. The lesson for extremists is clear: the squeaky wheel gets greased.

Well, the israel-palestinian issue is a unique one, because it involves the jews. Europe is mostly pro-palestinian and anti-israel on this issue, so whenever israel targets palestinian terrorists, the european media always blame israel, but they are not as bothered whenever palestinian "freedom fighters" commit "suicide bombings" on innocent israeli civilians.

OTOH, if the uighurs in china or the kurds in the north used the same "suicide bombings" technique to promote their cause, and China and Iraq (under Saddam) fought back by using brutal tactics against them, I don't think the arab and european media would be as outraged.

Posted by: amare at July 30, 2003 01:22 AM

"No future Palestinian state should be geographically larger than the one already offered by Bill Clinton and Ehud Barak in 2000."

Are you saying that you would oppose a final deal that that provided for an equal swap between West Bank settlement annexations and Israeli territory that would be ceded to Palestine? As opposed to the 9:1 swap offered at Camp David and the 3:1 swap offered at Taba? Why?

"Even if the Palestinians get only one acre less in the end, the intifada must be shown to have yielded them nothing."

Without the first Intifada, Israelis citizens to the right of Peace Now would still be arguing over what kind of autonomy plan would be best for them, or perhaps over whether they deserved a "mini-state" someday.

It is true that the second Intifada was a moral outrage, and a disaster for the Palestinian cause. But the fact is, it DID yield them something that nothing can take away: A US President for the first time uttering the words "Palestinian" and "state" in the same sentence, and Ariel Sharon using the words "occupied" and "contiguity" in a speech about the West Bank.

Posted by: Markus Rose at July 30, 2003 08:36 AM


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