Tuesday, August 16, 2005

They Won...Not Sharon, The Palestinians

Aluf Benn writes in today's holiday edition of Haaretz:

Upon the evacuation of the settlers from the Gaza Strip, a situation assessment is called for: Who won the last five years of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which broke out following the collapse of the peace process at Camp David? Who seared whose consciousness? The simple answer is that the Palestinians won on points. Sewing shops in Gaza are currently flooded with orders for PLO and Hamas flags, as the two movements vie against each other for the credit for getting the hated Israelis out of Gaza. The Palestinians are preparing victory marches, while Israel is mourning an internal rift and the loss of a dream and fearing the dangers of "the day after."

A comparison between the two sides' positions at the start of the conflict and their current positions also gives a clear advantage to the Palestinians. They demanded an Israeli withdrawal from all the territories, a state with Jerusalem as its capital and a right of return for the refugees. Israel insisted on maintaining the status quo, without giving up an inch, until the Palestinians gave in and abandoned terrorism. But Israel blinked and decided to evacuate some of the territories without receiving anything from the Palestinians. Their diplomatic positions have not changed by so much as a comma, and despite the blows they have absorbed, they have maintained their terrorist capabilities and have not implemented reforms.

Nor will they.

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