Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Expulsions and the Peace Talks

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Expulsions and the Peace Talks

Article excerpt

WITHIN 48 hours of the news that there would be retaliations for the murder of an abducted Israeli border policeman, 415 Palestinians were packed into buses and expelled from their homeland. Deported to the inner border of Lebanon, they will join the diaspora of a people communally punished by an unjust occupation system. And prospects for regional peace will surely recede.

What is Israel doing? Does the Israeli government which offered these expulsions believe this will somehow benefit anybody, least of all the dead man's family? Will it answer Israeli rage at the abduction, or growing Palestinian despair? Will it deter further violence by Palestinians, or by Israelis for that matter?

The hasty deportation by Israel, completed with a pro forma legitimization in court, with mass emotional public backing, may well be considered a folly after it is too late. It may also reveal whether the Middle East policy of the incoming Clinton administration in the United States is likely to have any spine.

It was not so long ago, well after the beginning of the intifadah uprising, that the Hamas Islamic movement began to grow in popularity among young Palestinians. In its infancy, Hamas ironically enjoyed some protection from Israeli authorities. It was seen then as a controllable alternative to the rebelling crowds of a PLO-led intifadah.

Hamas gained membership among the swelling ranks of Palestinian prisoners, who sought a way to protect their dignity and identity. "They came out of prison and into the mosques," say friends who were shocked to see unobservant Muslims converted through their prison experience. Many Palestinians, noting how little their negotiators at the peace talks have been able to accomplish, turned to armed struggle, under Hamas's leadership. Since October, 11 Israeli soldiers have been killed, the same number to die in all previous years of the intifadah. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.