In the Israeli-Palestinian-American discourse, Abbas and the Palestinian Authority are presented as the last resort before the worst happens: A Hamas takeover of Judea and Samaria. This is the reason why both the Americans and Israelis cling to Abbas and to the talks with him. Yet would a Hamas takeover really be worse than the Palestinian Authority’s tricks and schemes against Israel?
What’s so bad about the new situation created in the Gaza Strip, which has almost no ties to Israel? If they fire at us from there, we fire back at them. If they don’t shoot, we don’t shoot either. Overall, the Hamas state provides Israel with stability: There is a master of the house there that can be presented with demands, just likeHezbollah in Lebanon, and the stability we get is much cheaper than what Abbas is willing to give us - at the price of a refugee flood, Jerusalem’s handover, and a return of the territories.
The Palestinian Authority, which is perceived as the “good guys” by the world, constantly incites against and harms Israel. The harm done to Israel by Hamas would be much smaller. Hamas is considered a terrorist and part of the “bad guys.”
Israel would never be able to live with the Palestinian Authority’s demands - for example, handing over the entire Old City to Palestinian control. Yet living next to a Hamas state is much more beneficial and also feasible. Without an agreement and without illusions about a “partner.” As the Hamas entity is not recognized globally, the vision of a Palestinian state would thereby evaporate as well.
On the ground, we shall have two Hamas-run Islamic principalities, one in Gaza and the other in the West Bank; one would be subjected to the Egyptian whip, and the other to the Jordanian one – meanwhile, Israel would remove from its shoulders the Palestinian burden that has made things difficult for it for so many years.
We should now make it clear to Abbas: This is your and your administration’s last chance. If we fail to secure a quick agreement, where Israel’s demands are recognized, we shall unilaterally evacuate most of Judea and Samaria, annex the settlement blocs and Jerusalem’s Old City, and abandon you and your regime to Hamas’ and Jordan’s mercy.
As Abbas is in power today only because of the IDF’s presence on the ground, the implication of such move would be elimination of the Palestinian Authority by Hamas within a few weeks or months.
Shift burden to Jordan
Israel would maintain most of the Jordan Rift Valley, yet allow free passage between the Hamas principality and Jordan. That is, Israeli soldiers will not be deployed at the Allenby Bridge. This would provide the Islamic principality with an outlet to the world, via Jordan, which would have to assume the burden just as Egypt did in Gaza.
Israel will close itself off, and Jordan will have to open up to help its Palestinian “brethren.” And so Jordan would fall victim to its own pro-Palestinian rhetoric, as happened to Egypt in Gaza.
Should Abbas grasp this on time, his Palestinian Authority shall remain in place. Should he fail to understand it and continue with his tricks of evasion, his Authority would disappear forever, along with whatever is left of Palestinian nationalism, which has been defeated by political Islam. For Israel, this isn’t bad. The opposite is true – that would be a good situation for Israel.
Indeed, Hamas may attempt to fire at Israel, yet it will understand, as it understood during Operation Cast Lead a year and a half ago, that it’s not worth it.
The international pressure exerted on Israel would be eased and even disappear, as nobody wishes to grant a state to terrorists. Most of all, the ongoing security burden would disappear and would have to be handled by the Jordanian kingdom. What’s so bad about that?
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