Wednesday, June 28, 2006

What Happens Next in Gaza?

Even with top Hamas lawmakers now in Israeli hands, it is impossible to predict whether the Palestinians will become pragmatic and agree to release Gilad Shalit, or whether this will incite them further and make them dig in their heels.

Herb Keinon has similar thoughts in the Jerusalem Post:
It is not at all clear whether Israeli military action in Gaza hurts Hamas politically. In what to Israeli eyes seems like the logic-defying reality that is Gaza, it is not at all clear whether blowing up bridges and knocking out electricity in Gaza weakens public support for Hamas, or - paradoxically - whether it might in fact strengthen it.

Furthermore, it is not even clear that Hamas doesn't want some IDF action to further its victimization narrative in the world. Already some in the world are asking whether the capture of one Israeli soldier merits the type of military action we saw Wednesday. Besides, some are whispering, what about the 10,000 Palestinians prisoners held by Israel?
Keinon's point about the victimization narrative is precisely on the money. The Palestinians have so mythologized and taken to heart their victim narrrative, that it often seems this is the only mold they know. They make their reality conform with it. What they'll forget is how they provoked this situation, and how the population in general supported holding onto Shalit, even with IDF troops massing on the border.

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