There’s a quasi civil war going on in Palestine between Fatah and Hamas. The former is in power in the West Bank, and the latter in the Gaza Strip, which are the two parts of Palestine, also known as the Palestinian territories. I have visited Gaza and the West Bank, I have been to Ramallah and I have also met Palestinian ministers and even Ehud Olmert.
To me, the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians does not clearly have good and bad guys. Sometimes it’s the Israelis committing the atrocities, and other times it’s the Palestinians. But the leading Spanish newspaper, “El País”, believes that the Palestinians are the good guys and the Israelis the bad guys. And when a civil war started between the two Palestinian factions breaks out, “El País” didn´t know how to bring “bad” Israel into the picture and published an article like this, in which the Israelis still come off as the bad guys even though they were not part of the dispute.
What I don’t understand is how Spaniards, who have reached a fairly high level of sophistication when it comes to matters of domestic policy and are mostly skeptical about their own political parties, continue to be fairly unsophisticated in matters of foreign policy, and don’t demand more objectivity from the local press.
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict will be resolved when everyone recognizes their mistakes, and changes, and not just when the Israelis do. The Israelis pulled out of Gaza unilaterally Gaza fell into utter chaos. It does not surprise me that the Israelis now believe that if they pull out of the West Bank, the civil war among Palestinians, as well as the attacks on Israel, will only get worse.
If the Palestinians had created a well functioning state in Gaza that provided Israel with some reasonable security, the Israelis would be pulling out of the West Bank, just as they have left the Sinai Peninsula and other previously occupied territories. The majority of Israelis don’t want the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as part of a greater Israel. Those that do constitute an organized and fanatic minority, but that minority was forcefully removed from the Gaza Strip and the results were awful.
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