Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Hamas Gains Ground in Gaza Fighting

From The New York Times: By STEVEN ERLANGER

JERUSALEM, June 13 — Hamas forces consolidated their control over much of Gaza today, seizing the main north-south road and blowing up a key Fatah headquarters in the southern city of Khan Yunis....

Hamas took over a tall apartment building where many Fatah leaders lived, the Al Awdah building, causing another Fatah leader, Maher Miqdad, to flee with his family, after at least eight Fatah men were killed. Hamas also took over and burned the main police station in Gaza City, another symbol of Fatah power.

A Hamas spokesman said that Hamas is trying to defend itself from a group within Fatah collaborating with Israel and the United States.

It all gets me wondering. The folks in Gaza (at least those we read about) seem to be really good at ongoing insurrection and civil war. Meanwhile, millions of Iraqis seeking to make a decent life for themselves and their families--particularly the secularized intelligentsia and professional classes-- are flooding out of Iraq, and finding doors closed to them in the US, Europe, and most corners of the Arab world (unless they have the cash to pay someone off).

Has anyone considered a (voluntary) population exchange?
Comparative advantage and all, as the economists would say, or finding a suitable ecological niche, pace the evolutionists and ecologists?

This is (mostly) a sour joke -- I am aware of differing national identities and local loyalties (although demographers have documented significant Arab population flows into and out of the territory of Mandatory Palestine over the decades prior to 1948). I do keep wondering if anyone is prepared to work for (i.e., provide both leadership and followership for) a reasonably orderly and self-governing Palestinian/Arab State living alongside and in peace with Israel.

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