Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Ahmed Yassin

The dilemma that Israel faces is that whenever it withdraws from territories occupied in defensive wars it is seen not as seeking peace but in being weak. Withdrawing from Southern Lebanon, which to me was the right thing to do, was not interpreted as a step towards peace but as a sign that Israel could eventually be destroyed. The withdrawal did not bring peace to Northern Israel.

So the problem for Israel is that if it carries out what the World is demanding, and what would be the moral thing to do, and withdraws from Gaza and the West Bank, this again will not lead to peace but to again a sense that Israel is vulnerable.

Hence the killing of Yassin to send a message to Hamas that withdrawal from Gaza is not a sign of weakness. That's the reality of Middle East politics. Yassin was not some nice old peacenik in a wheel chair, he was a religious fanatic who advocated the destruction of Israel.

Remember folks, Sharon is about to withdraw from Gaza, what many people want and what many people have said he would never do. But its a two way street. For those who believe that the situation is the sole fault of Israel and that leaving the occupied territories will necessarily bring peace, think again.

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