Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Ruins of Gaza -Editorial

The Financial Times, January 21, 2009 - ....Israel’s refusal to treat with Hamas is understandable, if futile. The destructive fury of its assault on Gaza was not only intended to get over the relative failure of its 2006 war on Hizbollah in Lebanon. Israel was also determined not to repeat the outcome to its 1996 Lebanon war, which ended with codified and internationally underwritten rules of engagement with Hizbollah.

But Israeli unilateralism is a blind alley. Its unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 has resolved nothing. The existence of organisations such as Hamas and Hizbollah – which both arose as responses to Israeli occupation – cannot simply be wished away.

These Islamist amalgams of politics and paramilitarism enjoy power and prestige well beyond their natural constituencies because of a catalogue of failure in the Middle East that has, at its heart, the failure honestly to seek a comprehensive settlement based on land-for-peace....

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