Amira Hass, a columnist for Ha'aretz, is, as I recall, an Israeli Jew so sympathetic to the Palestinian cause that she decided to live among them. I read her column regularly, and I think it's fair to say that she routinely places the blame on Israel for anything that goes wrong in Palestinian/Israeli affairs. Until today. Though she halfheartedly throws a few shots at Israel, her column is basically a vigorous attack on both Hamas and Fatah:
As Fatah's mirror image, the Hamas government announced it cannot pay civil servants' wages. But it has found ways to finance the large amount of weapons being smuggled into the Gaza Strip and purchased in the West Bank.
Now it will have full "military" control of the Gaza Strip. Will this bring relief to Gaza's 1.4 million residents? Will it improve the health system and ensure employment for university graduates? Will it remove Israel's land and sea blockade?
It may be assumed that the military takeover of Abbas' symbols of "sovereignty" will serve as an excuse for Israel to sever once and for all the remaining civilian and economic ties between the Gaza Strip and West Bank - a political process Israel started in 1991. Because Hamas, like its mirror image Fatah, has no coherent liberation or independence plan for Palestinians in this lifetime.
Contrary to what some VC readers might think, I was a strong supporter of Oslo, and like many others, was confident in the late '90s that a peace settlement was at hand. I was saddened for both Israelis and Palestinians when the latter's leaders turned out not to have reformed, but to be the same terrorist thugs that murdered Israeli schoolchildren in the '70s.
As I alluded to in a previous post, Fatah and Hamas are at root both criminal gangs masquerading as political parties, though I acknowledge that Fatah, at least, has some members who would like to come to terms with Israel. It's taken Hass and other an extra six or seven years to recognize this, but perhaps now that the leftist enablers of Fatah and Hamas finally seem to be seeing the light, a useful turning point has been reached that will allow some sort of silver lining from this whole mess. For example, perhaps with Gaza turning into Hamastan, Israel will be able to make a West Bank-only deal with some combined Palestinian/Jordanian interlocutors that will create a confederated Palestinan/Jordanian state there. One of the great shames of the post-2000 crisis in Palestinian-Israeli relations is that I can't imagine that after years of suicide bombs the Israelis will ever feel comfortable enough to have reintegrate the West Bank into the Israeli economy (which previously paid huge economic dividends for the Palestinians), which means that Jordan will be the key to the economic future of Palestinians there.
UPDATE: Here's what Juan Cole has to say on his blog about the recent violence in Lebanon and Gaza, which can't be attributed to Israel: [ This space intentionally left blank ]