Yesterday, Israel’s defense minister, the new and improved Ehud Barak, approved electricity and gasoline cutoffs to the Gaza strip in response to rocket fire from Hamas and Islamic Jihad. This plan, which has been in the works for a couple of months, is really more intended on adding another layer of finality to the 2005 Gaza disengagement than it is on using electricity and gasoline disruptions as weapons in the fight against Hamas (I suspect it is also a means of forcing Egyptian involvement in dealing with Gaza, as well).
According to the plan, one of the power lines connecting Israel and Gaza will be shut down at first for 15 minutes after a rocket attack, gradually increasing the cutoff length if the barrages continue, up to a two-hour limit. In addition, Israel will begin reducing the amount of gasoline it allows into the Gaza Strip.
Lights out for 15 minutes! Jeez, what kind of sick depredations will these Zionist usurpers think of next? The various apologists for Palestinian terrorism have predictably come forward to condemn this thoroughly lenient response to rocket attacks on Israeli schools and towns. Foremost among them is Saeb Erekat, the loquacious, slick-tongued Palestinian negotiator who forever disgraced himself by helping to propagate the myth of the Jenin massacre in 2003. Erekat is appealing for international intervention and calls the threat of a few minutes of electricity cutoff “particularly provocative” — of course, don’t wait around expecting to hear him characterize terror attacks on Israel that way. Erekat is upheld as one of the great Palestinian moderates, yet he hews to a long and shameful tradition of always defending Palestinian extremism, no matter how indefensible, only because it is Palestinian. Therein lies one among hundreds of reasons why Erekat’s dream of statehood is as unrealistic today as it has ever been.