The Columbia Critic

A place to debate anything we want to. We'll talk Columbia campus issues. We'll talk up the homosexual problem. We'll talk China. And we'll talk without resorting to partisan rhetoric. We may be left. We may be right. But we aren't going to be quoting any party line. We're leading the discussion. But feel free to chime in. Hannity and Colmes this is not.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Third Intifada?

That’s what Palestinian groups have been saying. Islamic Jihad, and even the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (the militant wing of Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party), have been talking about resuming attacks against Israelis. For the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, its to sabotage Hamas. Of course, the best way to sabotage Hamas is to attack Israelis – so that Israel responds. Ironically, this is from the same Fatah Party that is seen as preferable to Hamas, and yet it is trying to resort to deadlier attacks against Israelis to sabotage Hamas just as Hamas plotted deadly attacks to sabotage Fatah in the Peace Process in the 1990s. For Islamic Jihad, by contract, it’s a result of Israeli decisions to withdraw from Gaza and now parts of the West Bank – perceived as a sign of weakness. So much for the doves who have harped for years that Palestinians are only attacking Israel because they want the Israelis to leave. As soon as the Israelis start withdrawing, now they are faced with a more militant Palestinian government and threats of new “massive violence” unleashed by the “preferable” secular Palestinian parties and the more traditional militant groups as well.

Even more disturbing, however, are the signs that attacks are already in the operational phase. When the Israelis have apprehended 12 would-be suicide bombers in 10 days, there’s trouble on the horizon. And the boasting of terror leaders in the Palestinian territories is eerie at best – that their third intifada will include “suicide bombings, rocket attacks against Jewish communities and ‘a few new surprises in our arsenal.’" With the Egyptians doing little to stop the free flow of goods – and weapons – into Gaza, and with Iranian and Syrian aid flowing more freely than ever, one can only wonder what they mean. Indeed, with the pressure on Syria and Iran right now by the international community, I could see Iran and Syria encouraging a confrontation in Israel to take the world’s spotlight off of both of their flagrant violations of international law.

So what is Israel to do? Who knows, but it has a right to defend itself. And it doesn’t have to wait until bombs go off to exercise it.


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