Thursday, January 24, 2008

When the wall came tumbling down

Shalom All,

It was said in an article that I read about the events in Gaza the other day that Gaza was like a tube of toothpaste which when squeezed while spurt out toward the weakest direction. It seems that Egypt was that direction. That said, the well orchestrated pity party put on by Hamas with candles and deliberate power outages combined with women wailing at another "Western Wall" this week had an impact on the press. The Palestinians broke out of their prision, starving, heading into Egypt.

Well, it just so happens that Hamas had spent MONTHS cutting through the wall between Gaza and Egypt so that when the charges were placed, they did not just make holes in the wall, but made a large section of it simply collapse. One could say that this was done to aid in weapons smuggling efforts. It is certainly the case that weapons were among the vast amount of items brought in to Gaza through the breach in the wall. Yet, it is not as if weapons were not flowing into Gaza en masse already before the wall fell. What in fact happened when that wall fell is that Gaza ceased to be connected to Israel and became a part of Egypt as it was before 1967.

The question now is whether or not it makes sense for Israel to try to change that. I do not think that it does. In fact, for Israel having Gaza become part of Egypt would solve MANY problems. Gaza is a tremendous drain on Israel and offers no benefits whatsoever unless one finds rocket fire pretty. Let Egypt worry about Gaza. Let the West Bank separate from it, not just physically, something it already is, but emotionally. Let Gaza be Egyptian and not Palestinian territory. At that point, peace is much easier to achieve.

The West Bank is viable. It has industry, labor, and available markets for goods. It has trained professionals and a much more moderate population. With pressure from Gaza released to the west, the pull of Gaza on the West Bank will lessen as well.

Instead of decrying Egyptian security failings, we might actually have something to cheer about for once. Let the fallen wall not be a symbol of a Hamas victory over Israel, but over Egypt. Let it be seen as a symbol of the end of Egypt's ability to cast off Gaza as Israel's problem. Let Gaza be a free EGYPTIAN territory.

The peace process will move radically forward.


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