This year a Jewish study found that 46% of Palestinians prefer a two-state solution, and only 26% prefer a bi-national solution to the Palestinian Question. But the two-state solution, which has been integrated into Bush’s Road Map for Peace in Palestine, never envisioned a completely divided Palestinian Authority.
Hamas, the militant Sunni Islamist party elected to the PA last January, replaced the old majority, Fatah. PA salaries, which depend on foreign aid, have dropped since Hamas was elected. Hamas admirably began a 10-year truce with Israel after they were elected, as well. But from the start, Fatah tried to prevent Hamas from getting full control of the PA military–called the PA security services–which are a cornerstone of political power and a job scheme for unemployed militants, and which had become bloated with Fatah loyalists during the secular party’s long and corrupt rule. Hamas responded to this by making an extremely disciplined “Executive Force” of its own loyalists to the PA roster in Gaza, where its stronghold is.
Fatah won the favor of the US, which has turned its presidential guard into an elite force to counter Hamas, whose weapons and troops are superior. The US State Department says Hamas’s funding comes from Iran. Under the guise of strengthening Mr Abbas as a moderate (unlike Hamas, which still refuses to accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state), Bush has provided $59m for training and supplying the presidential guard with non-lethal equipment, which Israel has let enter Gaza. Israel (Olmert) would also like to strengthen Fatah. Israel and Hamas’s truce was ended when Israeli forces attacked Hamas for shipping weapons into Gaza, which it technically does not “own” anymore, so it should be out of Israel’s jurisdiction.
The Western support for Mr Abbas’s troops, along with the now 15-month-old Western boycott of the PA, is part of a conspiracy to force Hamas out of power. Although it’s hardly a secret conspiracy. All levels of defense are beefing up Fatah, when it is clear that Hamas has won a clear democratic majority regardless of their being on the terrorist list in many Western countries. The debate over the security services was aggravated by Western pressure to keep it in the hands of Fatah, the minority party. This is why democracies can fail, and why other democracies wish to explore coercive means of getting the parties they’d like in power.
Fatah’s propagandizes that Hamas staged a coup against them, which is impossible if you’re already the head of government. And so Fatah has officially outlawed Hamas’s “paramilitary” organization, which was to be the security services, and has sworn in emergency cabinets to reclaim power. Hamas then fires from Lebanon to attack Israel, reminiscent of last August. It’s a war on all fronts now.
The Palestinian democracy has failed for sure, and that’s why massive fighting has taken place this week in Gaza. Fatah now has been ousted from Gaza, where Hamas has total control. Israel invaded Gaza today, to crush Hamas and to move people to the West Bank. So Perhaps the answer to the Palestinian Question is tripartite. Mahmoud Abbas’s West Bank will become a flourishing democracy, and Ismael Haniyeh’s Gaza will become a militant “Hamastan”. Western “history” will hail Fatah as the rightful democratic leader, despite faulty Western intervention, and Hamastan will be demonized as the failed militant state, listed as an “axis of evil” and would its credibility crushed so much that it could not attract one dollar of Western FDI. Western propaganda has and is determined to spoil the fruits of any Hamas-led government.