I liked it so much I bought the company!

And so its on… Israel’s absolutely unilateral, absolutely unconditional pullout from the Gaza Strip… David Kuttab writing in the Jerusalem Post gives us this observation of the utter confusion among Palestinian national leaders as to how to react.
While some (like Hamas, for example) advocate a raucus celebration of successful resistance to “the Zionist Entity”, others realize (rightly) that Israel will likely dig in even harder on the other “drop dead” issues to Palestinians, i.e., the West Bank and Jerusalem.
I don’t know how to break this: but this doesn’t have to be a zero sum game. Israel (and the Jewish people) have no historic claims to Gaza dating from the Old Testament; there are over a million Palestinian Arabs there in one of the most densely populated places on Earth. PM Sharon has spent the last couple of years aggressively de-fanging Hamas and other militants precisely so that this moment could come: Israel shedding itself of a territory that has proven to be more trouble than its worth, while the Palestinians finally (finally!) now that the principal-obstacle-to-peace Arafat is long dead, have unified control over this territory, without irritating Jewish settlements in the middle of it (and the IDF need not continue to risk its forces to defend said settlements.)
It’s actually a win-win: everyone can celebrate this one. Yes, there will be lots of people in the settler movement disappointed at “Sharon’s betrayal”. But Sharon is a lot smarter and cagier than you give him credit for: Israel needs to rebuild a healthy dose of moral authority. And Israel needs to recognize the reality that as a democracy, it cannot hold on to millions of Arabs who will eventually outnumber its Jewish citizens.
I supported the campaign of defeated Labor Party leader Amram Mitzna precisely because he advocated exactly what Sharon has just done: just get out of Gaza, no strings attached, because its in Israel’s interests to do so. The Israeli people– correctly it turns out– disagreed with me, voting instead for the apparently more hard-ass sounding Ariel Sharon, believing that he could actually get it done (while, amazingly, continuing to build “the wall”, and in no other sense, behaving conciliatorily toward the Palestinian Arabs, while still able to stand up to the hardass assholes in hihs own party like Bibi…)
Amazing. I don’t know about you, but I think this is a great day, that everyone of good will everywhere should be celebrating.