Friday, April 12, 2002

The three Israeli right-wing brutish plans for the Palestinians are:

  1. GOAL 1: concentrate the Palestinians in small areas of the Occupied Territories, fence them in, and use them as quasi-slave labour for Israeli industrial production;

  2. GOAL 2: build an impenetrable wall between Israel and the Occupied Territories;

  3. GOAL 3: transfer all Palestinians out of the Occupied Territories (and, presumably, eventually transfer most Arabs out of Israel) to Jordan or elsewhere.

GOAL 1 would satisfy the industrialists, who would get a cheap source of labour, and the mafiya, who would continue their position in the settlements, but would not please the religious nuts, who want all of greater Israel to be Arab-free. The Americans would be happy enough, as the presence of unhappy Palestinians will continue to keep tensions high and so keep oil prices artificially high. GOAL 2 would provide some protection against suicide bombers but leaves the settlements in the Occupied Territories on the wrong side of the wall, scaring the settlers and interfering with the mafiya, and wouldn't please the religious nuts. It would also pose a logistical nightmare in Jerusalem. GOAL 3 doesn't work for the industrialists (they lose their labour force), and the actual mechanics of accomplishing it will make everyone morally ill, not to mention causing massive tensions in the Middle East (tensions so high that the price of oil would become too high, thus damaging the American economy and making the Americans very unhappy). It would, however, please the settlers, the mafiya, and the religious nuts, as well as the Israeli army, who would have plenty of killing to do. It appears that you just can't please everybody and GOAL 2 has been decided on, at least in the short term, and the walls are starting to go up. This will finish off what little is left of the Palestinian economy, and the Palestinians will presumably concentrate their anger on the settlers (and it wouldn't surprise me if we saw some anti-American terrorism). I assume that the attacks against the settlers will then be used as the excuse for either GOAL 1 or GOAL 3. It is possible that the inconsistency of the goals has delayed the ugly fate of the Palestinians.