Friday, June 13, 2008

Gaza: Mogadishu or Dubai?

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

".....Enter the savior
........ the Israeli elite still seems to be locked on war mode. Take Ephraim Sneh, a man many Israelis - and Jewish-Americans - believe should be the next Israeli prime minister. Sneh is no dove, but he's not a fanatic either. He's a former deputy defense minister (1999-2001), a retired general and a highly influential Labor member of the Knesset. Sneh actively sold himself at the AIPAC meeting as having the ultimate Gaza solution......

According to Sneh, "The problem of Gaza is that there are 1 million people there living in poverty and now without jobs and without hope. And if you want to uproot Hamas - something that Israel must do one day - the way to do it is not just by military option, which would break the military force of Hamas, but to enable the legitimate government of [Prime Minister Salam] Fayyad to restore its authority, and immediately after that to embark in an economic development plan to build, through private enterprise, 100,000 jobs in Gaza." .....

Sneh's problem, for all his moderate proposals, is the Israeli elite's problem: Hamas is regarded as nothing but a bunch of "terrorists" - while its popular appeal is totally negated.

Sneh may even sound like some other (Arab) demonizers of Hamas such as al-Arabiya TV, a de facto media arm of the House of Saud, whose cultivation of the bizarre includes a report titled "Israel preserves the option of peaceful stabilization in Gaza"........

Sneh, by the way, knows Abbas well. They meet "relatively frequently". Abbas is considered "a man of peace" who "represents the majority of the Palestinian people, who want normalcy and know that terror is counterproductive". Former Israeli premier Ariel Sharon use to say the same things about Abbas.......

Sneh insists Hamas "proved they cannot solve the general problem in Gaza. They can't build stability, they can't build prosperity, they can't feed the kids of Gaza with bullets". He might add that nobody can build anything in a gulag under a total embargo.

So Gaza can become a new Dubai - but first Hamas has to be smashed. Anyone familiar with Gaza knows this schizophrenic proposition will never fly - unless 1.5 million people are exterminated. Seems "Mogadishu" is here to stay.

But the whole drama in Gaza goes way beyond Hamas. It is directly connected to the larger Israel and US-Iran confrontation - and the relentless demonization campaign against Iran in both Israel and the US.

The Islamic Republic actively supports Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas. Although it is never stated publicly, smashing Hamas and crippling Iran would be essential for the Zionist and militaristic wing of the Israeli elites in advancing the larger project of Eretz Israel. This greater Israel would include most, if not all of the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights and south Lebanon up to the Litani River, an extremely precious source of water and a key reason for the Israeli attack on south Lebanon in the 2006 war, thwarted by Hezbollah.

So is it about Dubai and Mogadishu? Way beyond it, it's all about Iran and water."

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