Thursday, August 18, 2005

David Frum: Why is Ariel Sharon evacuating Gaza?

Former speech writer for president Bush comes up with a theory that I have to hate, if only because it is yet another attempt find some hidden good in Sharon and his tyrannical expulsion and retreat. Still, it is one of the more interesting attempts to dissect the mind of The Leader.

It is not because he believes that a decent Palestinian state will emerge after the Israelis withdraw. Nobody believes that. The almost universal consensus among experts on the region is that post-occupation Gaza will became a Mediterranean Somalia: an unstable failed state in which gangs compete for power and extremist Islam finds a sanctuary.
Nor was Sharon responding to international pressure. His plan for unilateral evacuation surprised and displeased the United States and the European countries. They wanted Sharon to negotiate with Abbas. They wanted the deal to involve all the Palestinian territories, not just Gaza. And they wanted the whole thing to happen very, very slowly.
Israel's strategic situation did not force Sharon's hand: Israel was more than capable of holding Gaza for years to come. Domestic public opinion is not the explanation: Sharon won Israel's 2003 elections by opposing a Gaza withdrawal.
So why, why, why?
Let me try a theory.
Israel is the victim of an organized international hypocrisy.
After the experience of the 1990s, few people retain an illusions about the likely character of any Palestinian state. The Palestinian leadership is corrupt through and through. The only effective opposition to that leadership is violent and extremist. Palestinian public opinion utterly rejects coexistence with Israel. A Palestinian state, whatever its borders, will wage terror war against Israel � and give sanctuary to Islamic extremists from around the world. It will murder Israelis and threaten the security of Europeans and Americans.
European and American political leaders recognize this depressing fact.

Full Piece:

"David Frum's Diary on National Review Online:


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