Roger L. Simon

"The blood of martyrs has led to liberation!"

… quote unquote an Hamas banner hailing the Israeli evacuation from Gaza. Of course that is nonsense since the Palestinians could have had Gaza and heck of a lot more had Arafat accepted… or even seriously negotiated… the deal offered by then PM Ehud Barak at Camp David and Taba. Gaza was always the first playing card in the negotiations and everybody knows it.

And so far, despite apparent the avidity of some mainstream media outlets to show the violence of incalcitrant settlers, the evacuation has been relatively peaceful, exceptionally peaceful for the Middle East. Haaretz is reporting almost all the residents of the Northern Gaza settlements having agreed to leave with most already gone. No doubt the southern settlements will be more difficult. But if events continue without a major snafu, the ball will soon enough be in Mohammed Abbas’ court. Gaza will be his playground and he will have Hamas and Islamic Jihad to deal with. I don’t envy him…. As we used to say on our own playground, “No backsies!”