Sunday, 17 June 2007

Two Palestines?

Originally published 6/17/07, 7:20 PM, Eastern Daylight Time

Rabbi Ben Hecht:

I just want to venture a little way from theology and look at what's happening in Eretz Yisrael, although whatever is happening in Eretz Yisrael is part of the realm of Torah. What has occurred this past week is most interesting -- and what has emerged is possibly, let us call them, "two Palestines."

How are we to look at this development? Does it improve the situation for klal Yisrael or does it cause greater difficulty? I am not one to venture to say what is the intention of Hashem but I think that there is value in attempting to figure out how we are to respond to this present situation. Gaza is in control of Hamas. Fatah is effectively the Palestinian authority or government in the West Bank. What is emerging are two distinct Palestinian entities with two different governmental agencies. What does that mean for Israel?

This is not a discussion touching on the larger issue of how Israel should deal with the Palestinians in general. I am not talking left or right. I am not talking land for peace or not. I am basically questioning whether this situation is a good one for Israel or not, regardless of what one thinks the solution should be. Given what you believe the goal for Eretz Yisrael should be, is this situation potentially more beneficial to the realization of this goal or not? Of course, all depends on how Israel responds to this situation. How should, then, Israel respond?

Personally, I wonder. Even though the terrorists of Hamas control Gaza (and this is not to say that Fatah are not terrorists), I think that this "division of Palestine" may be good for Israel. But ultimately I cannot say this definitively. What do you think?


Garnel Ironheart said...

1) I think it's hilarious that after being forced to listen to the "one state solutions" (binational state that would ultimately have an Arab majority and then it's Jews Raus!) and a two state solution, we now have a completely unforseen three state solution: Hamastan, Fatahland and Israel.
2) Of course this isn't good for the Jews. It's out fault they're fighting. The only reason that hasn't made it to the news yet is because no one's figured out a plausible way to blame it on Israel without the excuse sounding blatantly ignorant and anti-Semitic. As soon as they can, they will. Already people are calling for Israel to militarily support Fatah to keep Hamas in check. Fortunately, the Israelis aren't biting.
3) All this is beside the issue. The Israelis have to ask: Are they prepared to give up their pie-in-the-sky Oslo dreams once and for all?

Rabbi Ben Hecht said...

In using the word Palestine, I should note that I am not attempting to present a real, political entity but rather simply trying to find a word to describe a de facto reality -- there is an Arab presence in Israel. My post is simply to question the implication of this new split in this de facto entity.

As to Garnel's point that in the end, somehow, Israel will be blamed. That may be the sad truth but in effect Israel is in a terrible position. Fatah never took care of the people -- that is why the people backed Hamas who took care of them. So in supporting Fatah, Israel supports crooks, the ones who did not take care of the people. And of course the international pressure is to support Fatah because they are seen as moderates, notwithstanding the truth of that or not -- but in supporting Fatah...I am afraid this will come back to haunt us.