ישראל נאמן | Lectures, Articles, Tours: Israel | Mideast onTarget | Elliot Chodoff & Yisrael Ne'eman | Karni Attack Directed at Palestinians, Not Israel 15.1.05

Karni Attack Directed at Palestinians, Not Israel

15 January 2005

By Yisrael Ne'eman

Friday's bombing of the Karni border crossing between Gaza and Israel is one more attack by Palestinian terrorists (this time both Hamas and Fatah) against the material interests of the Palestinian people for whom they are supposedly fighting their war. The terrorists know full well that in attacking the civilian economic lifeline for Gaza's 1.3 million Palestinians they are threatening the last vital artery of existence, especially since the Erez Crossroads - Industrial Zone and Rafiah crossings were forced out of operation due to "successful" terror operations.

Palestinian products, especially agricultural, are shipped into Israel through Karni, and in many cases continue abroad via the port of Ashdod while vital supplies such as milk and medicines are imported through Karni into Gaza. This time, in terrorist thinking, the death of five Israeli civilian workers was incidental, the real target being to impoverish the Gazan's further, a population which already suffers from 50% unemployment.

Poverty and frustration are the catalysts for blind hatred, suicide bombers, fierce radicalization and never ending conflict. The Islamicists and Arafatists understand this perfectly and are hoping for either a Khomeini or Maoist style revolution. Anyone who believes this to be only a challenge to Mahmoud Abbas is severely underestimating the strategic aim of the attacks. It is nothing less than the full destabilization of Palestinian society with the hope of ensuing economic chaos as an ally for the reigning political anarchy. The election of Abbas is technical and placates western demands for "democracy" but has no meaning for the terror groups. Through violence this message is driven home to the average Palestinian.

From the devastation of chaos new social orders arise. True, Mao and Khomeini would never get along, but in the meantime, they have a common enemy – any attempt at Palestinian democracy. Even in the medium term, Israel is not really part of the equation, but only later, once intense radicalism sets in. If Abbas is true to his word (along with Mohammed Dahlan and Jabril Rajoub), and will refuse to take up arms against the terrorists, then the Palestinian Authority will be overthrown or made completely impotent within a very short time. Israel really has no leverage and would do best to announce the closing of the Karni Crossing, explaining that such a humanitarian gesture is far too dangerous.

One can be assured that Israel will be condemned by many, including the UN and quite a few Europeans. The appropriate response should be to invite these critics to take full responsibility in running the Palestinian side of the Karni Crossing, while Israelis will continue to work the Negev terminal.

Their response will separate the humanitarians from the hypocrites.