The Corner


Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Alan Phillips asks some awkward questions:

“If the Israelis do indeed pull out of Gaza, who is now to take control of the territory? The Palestinian police loyal to Mr Arafat have lost all prestige compared with the militants of Hamas. The recipe seems to be for chaos, not an orderly withdrawal. It will not be lost on the Arab world that the killing of Yassin took place after King Abdullah of Jordan came to meet Mr Sharon at his farm in the Negev. This was a sort of reward for Mr Sharon’s proclaimed desire to leave Gaza. Who now among the leaders of the Arab world will dare to shake Mr Sharon’s hand? Much diplomatic effort behind the scenes has gone on to persuade the world that Mr Sharon is serious in his disengagement plan. Apart from vacating Gaza, it will also involve abandoning some two dozen settlements on the West Bank, in return for being allowed to annexe the larger settlements to Israel. The outside world is even more confused than before. If this is a serious proposal, it is hard to see how the disengagement has been brought forward by yesterday’s events. The alternative is that it was never serious, but a bone thrown to world opinion. Perhaps it is simply a twin-track approach, but that suggests less than full commitment to Mr Sharon’s goal of full disengagement from the Palestinians.”

Read the whole thing.


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