Gaza tabula rasa

It looks like it could be a complete, clean slate (i.e., the Palestinian Authority, a/k/a the Fatah movement) may be just about ready to give up amidst fighting with Hamas in Gaza, and pull back to the West Bank, leaving Hamas in Gaza… in short, this LA Times analysis suggests the possible end of the so-called two-state solution, with Palestinians resigned to the simple reality that their procreation habits (i.e. having a lot more children than Israeli Jews) will eventually make them the majority, and eventually, the vast majority, in the population of “the neighborhood” of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank. Will the modern state of Israel, founded by survivors of the Holocaust, have the stomach to live with Jews as the minority in such an entity?
Which, of course, is why I (and others) have been saying for some time that Israeli policies in this area of not pulling back to (more or less) the pre-1967 borders and doing their best to subsidize and prop up the Palestinians as a viable independent state (or perhaps states) is FUCKING INSANE. Whatever political pull “the settlers” may have (and the Israeli state, btw, has subsidized and encouraged settlement policy for decades– Labour/Avodah and Likud governments alike)… Israel simply cannot maintain itself as a democratic state and as a Jewish state, under circumstances where it will be soon outnumbered by Arabs who want no part of it; those Arabs will, simply, eventually vote Israel out of existence. And yet… Israel seems to be paralyzed vis a vis doing anything other than speeding along toward this demographic cliff. (And it doesn’t much matter how much American military aid the Jewish state receives, if it finds itself outnumbered from within.) This is why the appeal of the “Palestinian state” has been so strong: hint– it’s not about the Palestinians.
Now, at least according to the LA Times analysis, some Palestinians (and a lot of Israelis) realize that the Hamas-Fatah internecine pissing contest (or more accurately, Hamas itself) renders the ultimate “two-state solution” as probably not viable; Hamas may be left in control of the Gaza shithole, and Fatah can try to make the best deal it can in the West Bank. At the moment, Israel restricts travel between the two, 20 miles apart at the closest point, to virtually non-existent, so in effect, they may as well be on different continents.
It is certainly understandable why, amidst the enmity of a neighboring “government” committed to your destruction, Israel takes a hard-line towards the religiously-pure-but-crazy Hamas. Of course, Israel also took a pretty damned hard-line towards the-secular-but-corrupt-and-inept Fatah, pretty much ensuring the rise of Hamas (an entity that Israel once encouraged and helped create as a counter-weight to Arafat). No one expects Israel to just sit there and take it when terrorist attacks or missile strikes are launched… otoh, Hamas more or less counts on Israel’s heavy-handed responses… it’s the best recruiting tool they have– create more “martyrs” in a society where revenge is pretty much the coin of the realm.
Ironic, of course. It seemed that getting out of Gaza was a grand idea for Israel… but getting out without trying to prop up some stable Palestinian institutions led directly to the kind of vacuum that Hamas has stepped in to fill… violently. And that was kind of the difference between Labour’s Mitzna and the still moribund Sharon (from the moribund Likud party) in the all-important pre-Iraq War 2003 election… yes, Mitzna proposed getting out of Gaza, unilaterally, but he also wanted to step up negotiations on the overall global resolution that would have led to a viable (meaning something other than Sharon’s “Palestinians get a semi-gulag-archipelago on the crappiest land”) Palestinian entity leading to a Palestinian state.
Unfortunately, Mitzna didn’t get elected– Labour instead got trounced, and the rest has been the history that has taken us to the present. Where it stops, nobody knows, but the default (Hamas in unfettered, untempered control of nearly a million people on Israel’s Southern doorstep, with Fatah in charge in the West Bank and the unifying “Palestinian Authority” effectively gone)… is a dangerous and unpredictable position… and yet, that seems to be where this train is heading.
Unfortunately, this could all just be another part of the Wolfowitz/Feith/Lieberman (yes, it’s his war too) grand vision of a wonderful new Middle East where everything is designed to make the world safe for Israel… except, of course, for the part where it has the exact opposite effect because of how insanely stupid and badly conceived the “vision” actually is.