We've expressed serious reservations about the U.S. campaign to "prop up" Fatah, in light of the recent Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip. From our perspective, Yasser Arafat's successors are a chip off the old block--thoroughly corrupt, cowardly, and with eroding support among the people they purport to represent. From our perspective, the only "viable" solution is to allow the Israeli military to remove the terrorists from Gaza and the West Bank, reorganize both regions as protectorates (under international control), and slowly train a new generation of Palestinian leaders, with an eye toward long-term independence.
Unfortunately, there's virtually no support for that approach. Instead, the Bush Administration and its allies in Europe continue to back Palestinian "President" Mahmoud Abbas, issuing proclamations of support and promising more financial aid. The Israeli government is also "on board" in the effort to keep Mr. Abbas afloat, promising continued cooperation with the Palestinian leader. Their short-term goal: keep Abbas (and Fatah) going, and prevent Hamas from acquiring the West Bank as well.
So, how's it going? Well, barely two months after the Gaza takeover, there are numerous signs from the West Bank that Hamas is prepared to seize control in that area as well. Members of the Tribe has a series of recent headlines that foretell Hamas's coming victory in the West Bank. As reported in the U.K. Telegraph, the Jerusalem Post and the Christian Science Monitor, the same combination of lawlessness and corruption that sealed Fatah's fate in Gaza is still evident in the West Bank. Meanwhile, Hamas gains strength, and the so-called Palestinian "security forces" are powerless to stop it.
Our response? Write even bigger aid checks to the Abbas government (or what's left of it), in the vain hope that the money will reach its intended recipients (the Palestinian people), and not wind up in off-shore bank accounts of Fatah officials.
What a plan.
What a mess.
And it's only going to get worse.
In a couple of months, the Washington crowd will be asking who "lost" the West Bank, and there will be lots of finger-pointing and even Congressional hearings. The answer to that question is painfully obvious; the West Bank will go the way of Gaza because (a) the Palestinians cast their lot with a band of corrupt thugs, then replaced them with terrorists, and (b) western nations (and their ruling elites) insisted on backing the thugs, long after any hope for success--or reform--vanished.
Back to you, Secretary Rice and Prime Minister Olmert.
H/T: Discarded Lies.