Friday, June 09, 2006

Too Much Water Under the Bridge

Palestine is being punished for having voted Hamas into power. But the election in which that took place was only organized because the American government took the line that Israel shouldn't negotiate with the Palestinian Authority until it implemented democratic reforms.

Well, they did what we asked them to do, and the governing party lost to what everyone previously understood to be the main opposition party. In consequence, we shut down their hospitals. What kind of sense does this make? Palestine is supposed to have a democracy, but it was supposed to be a democracy where the voters only elected the party we preferred, which just happened to be the party that was already in power. It's a bit odd, is it not? What, exactly, has this series of initiatives been designed to accomplish?
Silly Matt. You're pretending that US (or Israeli) policy is deisgned to accomplish something. The main point of consensus in American policy in the middle east is simple: The Palestinians are not to be treated seriously, under any circumstances. Can't negotiate with them so long as there's even the chance of a single terrorist attack on a single Israeli citizen. Moreover, can't negotiate if things are peaceful, but people are saying nasty things about Israel. Oh, and to top it all off, the Palestinian authority is to be denied any means by which it could control its own people, by de-funding it and attacking anything like a state aparatus.

In this, US policy has succeeded remarkably well. As for why this should be so, I don't have a good idea anymore. I'm beginning to suspect that this generation of Israelis and Palestinians are so used to the violence and constant hatred that they don't know what else to do anymore.

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