Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Trudy Rubin writes, "The unsettling model for what Gaza could become is visible today in southern Lebanon." She offers a harrowing travelogue of gift shops selling Hezbollah mugs and t-shits and bus tours to a former Israeli-run prison as evidence that a unilateral withdrawal from Gaza without a negotiated peace would lead to the explosion of a third Palestinian uprising. To me, this dire prediction seems a little over heated and the argument for more negotiations intended to delay the pullout indefinitely.

It would appear the real lesson to take from Lebanon would be that it is now a free and democratic country that has taken Hezbollah into the political fold rather than continuing to marginalize them. The Palestinian model of canceling elections to prevent an electoral victory for Hamas, which enjoys more popular support than Fatah and Mamoud Abbas, may be more palatable to the Israelis and the Americans, who prefer to pick the people they negotiate with, but ultimately any democratic future for a free and independent democratic Palestinian nation will need to include all the interlocutors in order to have a viable democratic government, which is the real road map to a final peace in Middle East.
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