Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Have Palestinians Hit Upon a Winning Tactic Against Israel?

For decades, the Palestinians have used suicide bombers, terror attacks, mortar attacks, kassams, and all manner of violence to try and establish a Palestinian state.

This weekend dawned a different tactic and one that Israel was unprepared to deal with.

Thousands of protesters swarmed across Israel's northern borders in a predesigned incursion to which Israel responded with deadly force.

That's a visual that Israel can't deal with in the long run, and the Palestinians know this. Already international human rights organizations are demanding investigations, even though Israel has the sovereign right to defend its borders against invasion. That's on top of the hypocritical calls by Lebanon and Syria to investigate Israel's human rights abuses all while Syria is engaged in one of the most brutal crackdowns against protesters in recent history. Thousands have been detained and hundreds killed, but Israel takes steps to protect its borders from invasion, and that's suddenly more important than what the Arabs are doing to their fellow Arabs all across the Middle East?

Expect to see more incursions of this kind, not only as a way for Arab regimes to divert pressure on their own regimes from protesters but as a way to force Israel to make still more concessions towards the Palestinians. For its part, the Israelis lodged a formal complaint against Syria and Lebanon for the northern incursions:
Israel on Monday lodged a formal complaint with the United Nations against the Syrian and Lebanese governments over the border incidents.

On Monday, in a sign of alliance with Israel, the White House accused the Syrian government of fomenting the clashes in the Golan Heights to distract from its suppression of demonstrations at home.

Israel fortifies borders and Jerusalem after protests on Nakba Day, killing 15. Video courtesy of Reuters.

The Israeli prime minister said that while popular demonstrations across the Middle East could bring positive changes and peace in the long term, they are making Israel's situation more "problematic" by emboldening those opposed to Israel's existence.

"A Palestinian government, one half of which is composed of those that declare daily their intention to destroy the state of Israel, is not a partner for peace," he said.
Hamas continues to refuse to accept Israel's very existence, and although elections are now scheduled for October, the fact is that the group with which Israel is supposed to make a peace deal with has no intention of ever accept Israel's right to coexist shows the farce involved in the peace process. People are supposed to simply ignore Hamas and their intentions?

At the same time, President Obama is going to address the Palestinian-Israel peace process and once again demand that the Palestinians accept a 2-state solution, but that call is a tacit recognition that Oslo failed to achieve the basic goal of laying the groundwork for a 2-state solution. More than a decade after Oslo, the US and Israel is still trying to get the Palestinian Authority to accept its obligations under Oslo and accept a 2-state solution.

Moreover, this past weekend's protesters and incursions weren't seeking a 2-state solution, but rather seeking the elimination of Israel altogether and the establishment of a Palestinian state upon all the territories west of the Jordan River.

Still, given the track record of terror groups like Hamas and Hizbullah, they wont use the recent events as a guide towards peaceful demonstrations against Israel but will continue to use terror attacks where possible.

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