RealNews

Iraq crisis intensifies Israeli-Palestinian conflict

The coming weeks will be critical for the Middle East, particularly for the unrelenting conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. The looming US invasion of Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein is widely expected to intensify anti-American hostility in the Arab and Islamic worlds ­ a prospect heightened by Ariel Sharon’s Jan. 28 election victory and the sharp right-ward shift in Israeli politics. The Israeli military and political leaderships view the looming conflict as a godsend. Indeed, the generals sound positively enthusiastic about it – as well they should since it fits into the regional gameplan mapped out by right-wing strategists and their American backers. These Israelis believe a US invasion will greatly benefit them, allowing them among other things to intensify the war of attrition against the Palestinians until they are militarily crushed and hopes of a viable independent state shattered forever. For their part, the Palestinians are increasingly divided between those ­ like top PLO official Mahmoud Abbas and Interior Minister Hani al-Hassan ­ who believe that armed resistance has been counter-productive and that continuing the intifada is futile, and probably suicidal to hopes of an independent state, and the hard-liners of Hamas and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades who are not prepared to give up the fight. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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