War Profiteers

Hamas has found a way to profit from its war with Israel.

Hamas on Monday raided some 100 aid trucks that Israel had allowed into Gaza, stole their contents and sold them to the highest bidders.

The IDF said that since terminal activity is coordinated with UNRWA and the Red Cross, Israel could do nothing to prevent such raids, Israel Radio reported.

Between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the army had ceased all military activity in Gaza and once again established a "humanitarian corridor" to help facilitate the transfer of the supplies.

Evidently Iranian cash is no longer enough to keep Hamas running. After bringing death and destruction to the Palestinians by keeping their war with Israel going, they have to steal food out of the mouth's of their own people to keep themselves going.

I don't think that Hamas is going to be in charge of Gaza for too long after the fighting stops. And to make the change happen Egypt is training Fatah fighters who will no doubt be escorted to Gaza through the Egyptian border once the fighting stops.

"The Iranians and Syrians are using Hamas to undermine the Palestinian Authority and other moderate Arab governments," the Fatah official told the Post. "Victory for Hamas in this war would mean victory for Iran, Syria and Hizbullah. This is something we need to prevent."

The official expressed hope that the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip would revolt against Hamas when the IDF operation ended. He also expressed hope that Hamas leaders Mahmoud Zahar and Ismail Haniyeh would be tried before a Palestinian court as "war criminals." The Hamas leaders, he charged, were responsible for the death of hundreds of innocent Palestinians. "Ever since they came to power, they brought death and destruction to our people."

The official would neither confirm nor deny a report according to which Egypt was training Fatah activists to regain control over the Gaza Strip. According to the report, some 300 Fatah militiamen who had fled to Egypt during the violent Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007 were being trained by Egyptian security experts.

Ahmed Abdel Rahman, the official Fatah spokesman in the West Bank, mocked statements made by Syrian-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal to the effect that Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip had failed.

Evidently not every one involved in the war sees what is going on as a Hamas victory. Maybe the Arabs are not totally delusional after all. Just some of them.

The light of reality may be finally shining on the Middle East. There has been a sea change among the Arabs. Their rhetoric is unchanged, but their policy is different. They are now in fear for their future. They can see the end of oil. Not soon. Maybe in fifty years, maybe a hundred, but the sands of time are running out of the hour glass and the oil is running out of the sands of the Middle East. If they are to survive on other than charity they have to make things the world wants.

The first thing they intend to make to reach that goal is a Palestinian State. The Palestinians are relatively well educated. Arafat after all was an engineer. The Palestinians under good government will unite to reform the Middle East. There is nothing the Israelis want more than to see its neighbors prosper. The reasons are two fold. One is that such a stance is part of their culture. The other is that well off nations need no longer use Israel as a scape goat for their failures.

They were so close in 2000 to the irreversible integration of the Palestinian and Israeli economies. So close. It may take a couple of decades, but I think the reintegration of the Israeli and Palestinian economies is now on the table. Followed closely by a change in the Arab culture and economy. I'm sure the hope is that the Israeli work ethic will rub off on the people of the Middle East. It will be difficult.

In that regard America is very fortunate. It is one of the few places in the world where aristocracy never took root. There is no monarch in America to confer titles. No Kings, no Queens, no Dukes, no Duchesses. The children of our wealthy have no special place in our society. If they want a place they have to earn it. It can't be earned by their ancestors. This is a huge change in culture for the Middle East. If they want it to take hold by the time the oil runs out they will have to get cracking. I think they finally know that.

Cross Posted at Power and Control

posted by Simon on 01.12.09 at 03:29 PM


The Palestinians under good government will unite to reform the Middle East.

Say what, now?

My impression had been that the Palestinians were pariahs and useful tools to the Arab nations.

(The former indicated by their forcible expulsion from Jordan, and then later Kuwait; the latter by their enforced suffering being a great way to focus the Arab masses on Israel rather than the copious failings of their own governments.)

I'm dubious of the idea that even a successful Palestinian state would unite and reform the Arab world, though it'd be wonderful if it happened. (I'd bet on Lebanon as a more likely candidate, as having a Democratic tradition, if only the Syrian and Iranian influence could be removed.)

(Not that I think that a reformed Palestinian state is likely anytime soon, given both decades of indoctrination to hate Israel and Jews, which acts strongly against the cooperation with Israel necessary to make a productive, free state for themselves, and given the interest of much of the rest of the Arab world [and Iran] in using their internal politics and position as a foil.)

Sigivald   ·  January 12, 2009 4:09 PM


You are totally correct for the current situation.

However, you also have to look a little deeper. The Egyptians are actually cooperating wit the Israelis. Haltingly - but still - that is relatively new.

And the Saudis are also giving the Israelis a free hand (ever since Lebanon 2006) - that is new.

Which is - as you point out - why my thesis is so startling.

M. Simon   ·  January 12, 2009 4:55 PM

The other is that well off nations need no longer use Israel as a scape goat for their failures.

I think you are gravely mistaken. Israel is not a scapegoat for Palestinian failure, except in the most trivial sense. Palestinians want to kill Jews because killing Jews is integral to Islamic religious practice and eschatology. In numerous passages the Quran recites that the Jews are doomed for rejecting Allah and his prophet. Muhammad's personal example (the slaughter of the Jews of Khaybar) is, inasmuch as the Quran repeatedly commands Muslims to emulate him, the model for how Muslims are supposed to treat Jews. A Muslim repudiating the slaughter of Jews would be implicitly repudiating Muhammad himself, which is literally unthinkable for any devout Muslim.

Bob Smith   ·  January 12, 2009 5:31 PM


I've done a little study of the Koran and there are actually two Korans in the book. A get along wit your neighbors Koran and a dominate your neighbors Koran.

It is like the Torah. There are two of them. Depending on which you emphasize.

Obviously there is going to have to be a reformation of sorts. The elements are there, it is just that those going in a direction that is more civilized is small.

You might want to look up the blog "Muslims Against Sharia".


Or Reform Judaism for that matter.

M. Simon   ·  January 12, 2009 6:23 PM

Hamas no mas. I am glad if that occurs. At the same time, recognize that Fatah also shares with Hamas the goal of the destruction of Israel, and when in power, was insufferably corrupt. There is not yet a “third way.” That being the case, I hope that Israel does to Hamas what Hamas wants to do to Israel.

Gringo   ·  January 12, 2009 7:36 PM

"The children of our wealthy have no special place in our society. If they want a place they have to earn it. It can't be earned by their ancestors."

Better pass this on to Gov. Patterson in re Caroline Kennedy.

italtrav   ·  January 13, 2009 8:39 PM

Arafat was not a Palestinian, he was Egyptian born and educated. He became a "Palestinian freedom fighter" by choice.

aldomeir   ·  January 15, 2009 2:29 AM

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