WaPo reported Five years ago this month, President Bush stood in the Rose Garden and laid out a vision for the Middle East that included Israel and a state called Palestine living together in peace. "I call on the Palestinian people to elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror," the president declared.
That would be wonderful to see. but it would require leaders not compromised by terror.The takeover this week of the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group dedicated to the elimination of Israel demonstrates how much that vision has failed to materialize, in part because of actions taken by the administration. The United States championed Israel's departure from the Gaza Strip as a first step toward peace and then pressed both Israelis and Palestinians to schedule legislative elections, which Hamas unexpectedly won. Now Hamas is the unchallenged power in Gaza. After his reelection in 2004, Bush said he would use his "political capital" to help create a Palestinian state by the end of his second term. In his final 18 months as president, he faces the prospect of a shattered Palestinian Authority, a radical Islamic state on Israel's border and increasingly dwindling options to turn the tide against Hamas and create a functioning Palestinian state. "The two-state vision is dead. It really is," said Edward G. Abington Jr., a former State Department official who was once an adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Actually we now have two states - Gaza and the West Bank, and they are at war with each other. The question is whetherNY Post reported Israel's disengagement from Gaza, completed 22 months ago, has succeeded. It was a demonstration project of a sort - an experiment in Palestinian self-rule. If the management of Gaza had gone well, there would have been a Palestinian state within three years, tops. OK, now speak these three words to yourself: a Palestinian state. Finished? Good. So are the words. They won't be coming out of anybody's mouth again for a very, very long time - at least not in any meaningful way. Someone asked Benjamin Franklin what America got out of the Constitutional Convention of 1787. His reply: "A republic - if you can keep it." So it was with Gaza in August 2005. The Palestinians got a "homeland, if you can keep it." What they got instead was hell on earth. What they got was two brutally murderous gangs, Fatah and Hamas, competing for power by throwing people off the roofs of buildings and slaughtering rivals in front of their wives and children.
- Fatah will be able to wipe out Hamas and then make peace with Israel,
- Whether Hamas will wipe out Fatah in the West Bank as well, thus prompting Israel to destroy both areas and take over all the land west of the Jordan, as it should have gotten in the first place, or
- whether Fatah and Hamas will just keep on killing each other and showing the rest of the world how warped and uncivilized these Islamoterrorists are.