The violence in Gaza in mid-June between the Palestinian factions of Fatah and Hamas was almost universally blamed by the international punditry on President Bush and Israel. But in truth, they confirmed only one thing. Remember, Israel dismantled its Gaza settlements in August 2005, a unilateral concession without anything in return on which to pursue a pilot plan in order to answer the questions—do the Palestinians really want a state and a civil society? And can they organize and sustain one? In the January 2006 parliamentary elections they turned their government over to Hamas, which has as its religious duty the elimination of Israel, and we now have the answer to those questions—no, all they want is the destruction of Israel. All the comments about the failure of the Bush vision for a two-state strategy are nonsense. What failed is Islamic extremism—again—to the detriment of peace and the Palestinian people.
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