Israel and Gaza

While I condemn Hamas, especially its promise to annihilate Israel and all Jews (i.e. genocide), it’s also sadly clear that Israel–especially Netanyahu and LIkud– has a kind of weird, working relationship with Hamas. As long as Hamas exists, Israel can worry much less about the West Bank. That’s exactly what Ariel Sharon predicted, when he noted that once Israel got out of Gaza, the pressure would lessen for Israel to make a full peace deal with Palestinians in the West Bank.

This recent conflagration actually has more do with the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank than it does with Israel. By taking the fight to Israel, Hamas is increasing its popularity among West Bank Palestinians. This is extremely useful to Hamas, especially as Hamas is rather unpopular in Gaza currently. Right now Hamas has much more popularity in the West Bank than in Gaza.

In a strange way, the current Israeli government prefers dealing with Hamas than with the PA. In this case, Hamas saw an opportunity to take advantage of a political opening. And that’s what they did.

In the Middle East, nothing is as it appears.

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DR. LAURENCE H. KANT (LARRY KANT), MYSTIC SCHOLAR: Engaged Mysticism and Scholarship in the Pursuit of Wisdom; Discovering meaning in every issue and facet of life; Integrating scholarship, spirituality, mysticism, poetry, community, economics, and politics seamlessly. Historian of Religion: Ph.D., Yale University, 1993 (Department of Religious Studies); Exchange Scholar, Harvard University, Rabbinics, 1983-84; M.A., 1982, Yale, 1982 (Department of Religious Studies); M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School, 1981; B.A., Classics (Greek and Latin), Tufts University, 1978; Wayland High School (Wayland, MA), 1974. Served on the faculty of Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), York University (Toronto), and Lexington Theological Seminary (Lexington, KY). Works in many languages: Ancient Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, English, French, Italian, German, Modern Greek (some Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish). Holder of numerous honors and awards, including The Rome Prize in Classics (Prix de Rome) and Fellow of the American Academy of Rome.

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