Anatomy of a Delusion

Fighting continues in Gaza between rival gangs. Earlier today, Hamas thugs killed a number of members of a “clan” that is said to be loyal to Fatah. AFP tries to explain:

Nine Palestinians were killed and dozens hurt in battles in Gaza City between forces of the rival Hamas and Fatah movements on Saturday, prompting Israel to open its border to fleeing Fatah members.

The fighting, which lasted most of the day, was sparked when Hamas security forces tried to arrest suspects thought to be behind a July 25 bombing that killed five Hamas militants and a little girl on a Gaza beach.

Hamas blames Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas for the attack, but the secular group denies any involvement. Over the past week the two sides have engaged in tit-for-tat spates of arrests.

Hamas said two of its men were killed and medical officials reported seven more dead, mainly civilians, in Saturday’s firefights that broke out around a house belonging to the influential pro-Fatah Helis clan in the Shujwa neighbourhood of Gaza City.

More than 90 people were also wounded, including seven reported to be in a serious condition, the medical sources said.

Here we see Hamas “security forces” patrolling Gaza; they’d certainly make me feel secure:

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The upshot was that 150 Palestinians associated with Fatah fled Gaza for civilization; that is to say, Israel. The Israelis opened the border to take them in. The photo below shows a wounded Fatah loyalist being taken to an Israeli hospital:

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Like many liberals, Barack Obama takes it as an article of faith that the first order of business, should he become President, will be to solve the problems of the Palestinians. Only this, Obama says, will enable us to make progress on the broader front of the Middle East and the Arab world.

This is exactly backward. Of all the twisted and corrupt Arab cultures, the most dysfunctional, by far, is that of the Palestinians. This is because, for more than a half-century now, the Palestinians have been used by their fellow Arabs and Muslims as political tools. Abetted by the United Nations, the Palestinians’ fellow Arabs have kept them living in “refugee” camps for generations. The Palestinians’ commitment to terrorism has made it impossible for them to develop a functioning economy. Their educational system is a joke, dedicated mostly to perpetuating the same pathologies that have made the West Bank and Gaza among the world’s most miserable places. If Israel were to disappear tomorrow, the Palestinians’ pathetic situation would not improve an iota. If anything, it would get worse.

Of all the backward countries of the Middle East, Palestine will be the last to be reformed, not the first. Reform will come to Gaza and the West Bank only when the Palestinians’ fellow Arabs give up on using them as sacrificial pawns. Any foreign policy (like Obama’s) that assumes that we must first–somehow!–solve the Palestinians’ problems for them, before progress can be made on any other front in the region, is doomed to disaster.

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