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September 01, 2006

Blame and Responsibility in Gaza

Even after Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip, some pundits in the West continued to heap blame on Israel alone for all that is wrong in the Gaza Strip.

Remarkably, two high ranking Palestinian officials—from Hamas and Fatah—have recently acknowledged something often overlooked by those pundits: Palestinian responsibility.

On August 27, a Palestinian newspaper quoted Ghazi Hamad, the Hamas government spokesman, saying he wants to "own up to our (Palestinians') mistakes." The New York Times summarized his comments:

After so much optimism when Israelis pulled out of Gaza a year ago, he wrote, "life became a nightmare and an intolerable burden."

He urged Palestinians to look to themselves, not to Israel, for the causes.

A couple of days later, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas also pointed to Palestinian actions as the cause of suffering in Gaza:

In the West Bank, [Abbas] called on Palestinian militants, as he has before, to stop firing rockets into Israel. ... "What is happening in Gaza as a result of rockets fired in vain must stop right now because there is no interest in this continuing," he said.

If these two Palestinians—one of whom represents a group that still speaks of destroying Israel—can engage in such self-examination, maybe it's time for those Western analysts who see only Israeli wrongs to also open their eyes to Palestinian responsibility.

Posted by GI at September 1, 2006 04:00 PM

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