lightning GAZA

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 • Re: GAZA

Posted by GuruJane at 2007-07-02 02:32 AM

Cyberman, agree that a new Palestinian state will be described/derided as Bantustan by maximilists throughout west and Arab world. However, if and when the state is proclaimed  there will be significant differences from Bantustan in that it will have international recognition and membership in the UN. It will also almost certainly have been established by consent of the populations in Israel and Palestine via referenda, since that was  the model Blair used to make the breakthrough in Northern Ireland.


You are very late on the scene (as are others) with the one state solution. The OSS was a major fashion among left zionists led by Martin Buber and the Hebrew university in the '30s and had much influential support among the diaspora American jews in New York and Washington power bases until the revelations of the extent of the holocaust in 1943 torpedoed it. My memory is  that, post war, the new British Labour govt came up with a white paper recommending an OSS but the arabs, as well as the jews, rejected it. That was the end of any serious debate about an OSS, Cyberman, until today.


Must say it's been interesting to see the idea being revived  more than 60  years later. Rather seems to me it's re-emerged because all parties are now staring into reality that the jewish state is about to be accepted as here to stay if the Palestinians formally accept a two state solution which of necessity will require the final recognition of Israel as a jewish state? 



Whatever Israel Govt says, or what the media there reports it is saying, is not the same as what it can do or will do. You are probably  right in assessing the leaks as a softening up process of Israeli public opinion. But if it is, it is just as inept and headed for another Olmert failure as was his conduct of the Lebanon war  this time last year in terms of domestic expectation and resulting dishillusionment, leading to his approval rating I have read as 3%? Livni is clearly useless and out of her depth as obvious from her evidence to the Winograd inquiry.


The bottom line is: to release Barghouti any Israeli govt would have to go  directly against the vehement advice of the IDF and the Israeli security services. The only Israeli leader in its entire spectrum with the political capital required to face down IDF etc and release Barghouti, is Arik Sharon, who overrode IDF  et al objections to pulling in out of Gaza.   But Sharon is no longer functioning.


As you say, Hamas has been doing rather well lately. I would say Hamas has been doing extremely well since 1994 with its  focussed, successful campaign to  undermine  the secular but corrupt PLO and destroy Oslo agreement.  However, from the time of Israeli total withdrawal from Gaza  and Hamas' election  to govt in Palestine, it has clearly been squandering its advantage.  Expelling PLO from Gaza no doubt gives a power-shot to Hamas hubris but can only advance its cause if it replicates it in West Bank? And even then, where would it be?


The question now  is - will Hamas founder on the ultimate irrationality of its covenant as AlQ is foundering in Iraq? However "rational" the Hamas political leaders might be in terms of tactics, strategically it is subject to its own credo, which is just irrational as  AlQ's and other out there jihadis who are now starting to confront Hamas  in Gaza?. 








 • Re: GAZA

Posted by arthur at 2007-07-02 01:37 PM
GuruJane, I don't understand your statement that:

to release Barghouti any Israeli govt would have to go  directly against the vehement advice of the IDF and the Israeli security services.
Perhaps you are misreading the following report of remarks by Dichter :

Public Security Minister... Avi Dichter told Israel Radio Wednesday that Israel should not consider freeing jailed Fatah-Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti as a measure to shore up Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' government after Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip.

Israel cannot release Barghouti "as part of an experiment where we will say 'maybe it will help and maybe it won't,'" Dichter Said.


When asked about the possibility of Israel releasing the Fatah chief at some point in the future, the minister answered: "This is something we might consider ... only if we reach the point of his (being able to achieve) very serious and practical results."

I read that as a standard formula  for  informing people that he will be released later and not to worry beause it has been  carefully considered and  will achieve very serious and practical results.

One cannot just switch from a big show trial with 5 life sentences to suddenly announcing he is being released without this sort of preparation.

Here's a more recent report.

THE Israeli cabinet is deeply divided over a proposal by Israel’s domestic security agency, Shin Bet, to release a Palestinian leader serving five life sentences for murder.

PS As discussed earlier we disagree about what happened in Lebanon.  See Delusional Hedgehogs (and links from there, recursively).

BTW you said then that it would be Hezbollah who would turn back the clock, not Israel. Now you refer to the same events as an inept Olmert failure.

The Israeli government needs  domestic  disillusionment, to prepare public opinon for withdrawing from the West Bank. It isn't going to happen as a result of Israelis shifting towards the "peace camp" or Hamas changing its charter but as a result of Israelis losing their illusions about being able to hold on to the occupied territories.

PPS Nothing to add re Hamas.

PPPS Are you still expecting a US strike against Iran ;)

 • Re: GAZA

Posted by Cyberman at 2007-07-02 04:04 PM

Comrades Arthur and Gurujane,

It sounds like you are favour of the principle of partition in Palestine. The reality is that there is one effective state of Israel/Palestine. The airspace, the borders, the sea lanes, taxation, international trade, the currency, are all controlled militarily and economically by the State of Israel.  Nothing much will change in the future, whether or not the partition is formally recognised by the UN and the 'international community'.

Here you are with a platform of advocating "progress and modernity" condemning racism and religion as backward and reactionary, but yet advocating that a country be formally partitioned on the basis of, er, race and religion. Are you still claiming to be the genuine left?


 • Re: GAZA

Posted by arthur at 2007-07-02 11:56 PM
"Nothing much will change in the future" - cyberman's credo for a genuine leftist.

 • Re: GAZA

Posted by GuruJane at 2007-07-03 12:36 AM

Arthur said: "BTW you said then that it would be Hezbollah who would turn back the clock, not Israel. Now you refer to the same events as an inept Olmert failure."


GuruJane said, in previous post : "But if it is, it is just as inept and headed for another Olmert failure as was his conduct of the Lebanon war  this time last year in terms of domestic expectation and resulting dishillusionment, leading to his approval rating I have read as 3%? "


I was not referring to the outcome of the war which 12 months on is quite evidently now to have been to Israel's benefit not to Hezbollah's when compared to the conditions existing prior to July 12, 2006. I was referring to Olmert's inept management of the politics of the issue. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough?

PPPS Are you still expecting a US strike against Iran?


Of course. Unless Bush is convinced Iran is not going to develop nuclear weapons. If he becomes so convinced I expect to see him in Tehran before his term expires communing with the mullahs on the undesirabilty of gay marriage.

Odds on the latter outcome have shortened slightly:

 • Re: GAZA

Posted by Cyberman at 2007-07-03 12:50 AM

Comrade Arthur,

Well I hope you don't take it as insult your skills in English comprehension that I have to explain that "nothing much will change in future" whether or not the partitition of Palestine is formally recognised. Pretending to not understand is a game I used to play with my kids from time to time!

But to be serious, I would still like you to explain, from a genuine left perspective,  how you can advocate the partition of a country on the basis of ethnic and religious differences.

 • Re: GAZA

Posted by GuruJane at 2007-07-03 01:00 AM

Re Dichter/Barghouti.


My point was that only Sharon would have the political capital to over- ride IDF objections and release Barghouti at this point or in forseeable future. Olmert has zilch.


You seem to think Israeli public opinion about withdrawing from WB still needs preparation? In fact the Israeli electorate voted Kadima in last year precisely on that policy. The majority of Israeli "public opinion" has never been messianic about the settlers. As you have confirmed most Israelis are atheists or at least non religious. It's the security sensitivities which holds it up, a button Hamas has pushed very adroitly and with huge success since 1993. 


As for Dichter, he  is clearly pointing towards the political conditions that he believes would necessary for Barghouti's release: "ie only if we reach the point of his (being able to achieve) very serious and practical results."


Blair has much work to do to create those conditions. Still, he managed it in Northern Ireland. Whoever would have thought of Ian Paisley and Sinn Fein coochy cooching for the cameras as they did a short while ago?



 • Re: GAZA

Posted by Cyberman at 2007-07-03 05:11 AM

I must say that the detail of this discussion on  this thread all sounds very Israeli centric. Israel as a homeland for atheists and the non-religious? Now that really is getting silly.

You can't push the parallel with Ireland too far. The borders between the Republic and the UK have never been closed to citizens of either country. There aren't and never been anywhere near the numbers of dispalced persons due to the conflict. There aren't any refugee camps. The UK  has never invaded the Republic since its inception. The Republic of Ireland is a prosperous European country and is no threat at all to either the UK or the Protestant community in the North. The only real surprise is that it has taken as long as it has for a political solution to be reached.



 • Re: GAZA

Posted by arthur at 2007-07-03 08:55 AM

1. Actually you said directly against the vehement advice of the IDF and the Israeli security services. My second link was to a report that the relevant security service, Shin Bet, has already recommended release of Barghouti.

2. Kadima's program was unilaterally anneing as much of the West Bank and Jerusalem as possible and withdrawing from the rest without reaching any peace agreement with the Palestinians. That nonsensical position was obviously transitional. They have still not actually bitten the bullet and accepted the 1967 borders as the basis for negotiations, although they continue preparing public opinion for that and edge ever closer.

3. Most Israelis are not messianic about the settlers, but neither are they willing to forcibly remove them and the settler supporters are not yet completely demoralized so that they would be unable to make a lot of trouble. The public opinion preparation consists of making it more and more obvious that there is no other alternative but to withdraw. My guess is that the mechanism will be first adding an international force so that the settlers are "protected" by Italians etc as well as the IDF, which will make them even more hysterical but also demoralized since there would be nothing for them to "resist" and no point in them staying, so that most will start packing. If Italian protection isn't demoralizing enough, perhaps Germans and Turks or even Jordanians ;)

4. A major part of that public opinion preparation has been pretending that Israel occupies the West Bank because of Hamas. It has become so deep a part of Israeli propaganda that you take it for granted yourself and imagine that Blair's job is to change some situation among the Palestinians. But it is simply nonsensical. Think back a few years. Hamas did not exist and Israel established its settelements because it wanted to colonize "Judea and Samaria" as part of "Greater Israel". Substituting another reason for fighting makes the effort pointless in exactly the same way that Nixon declaring that the US was fighting in Vietnam to recover its POWs made fighting that war pointless.

5. It doesn't get sillier than occupying the West Bank because of Hamas, while staying out of Gaza because of Hamas. This position is like the cartoon characters who remain suspended in the air with their legs still running after they have run past the edge of a cliff but don't fall until they look down and realize.

6. Evidently we remain in disagreement about Lebanon and Iran. Your analysis that Israel benefitted from its war with Hezbollah but Olmert's popularity is down to 3% because of inept handling of the politics does not seem worth refuting. Israelis know they lost - and not just 97% of Israelis either.

PS Cyberman, I said I thought the discussion between you and GuruJane is really silly and I don't have time or interest in explaining why  I  don't see much point attempting to sort out either of your incomprehensions.

I am nevertheless continuing to discuss current events with GuruJane as we are not engaged in fruitless discussion of moral outrage but estimates of what is happening (although her inability to see some things that are quite obvious undoubtedly arises from being on the wrong side ;)

 • Re: GAZA

Posted by Cyberman at 2007-07-03 02:59 PM

Comrade Arthur,

I would suggest that the Zionists should experience a lot more moral outrage from world opinion!  We didn't have the same levels of detailed discussion about developments in Bophuthatswana 20 years ago. As far as world progressive and left opinion was concerned, these were neither here nor there. The focus was on shifting white racist opinion in South Africa rather trying to understand it. There were trade and sporting boycotts, ................ We all know the story.

In the end, world moral outrage did succeed in South Africa. 

 • Re: GAZA

Posted by arthur at 2007-07-03 11:49 PM
Cyberman, I'm not interested in pursuing the discussion you are interested in. But I'll respond briefly to your last remark as it is relevant to the overall purpose of this web site in (hopefully) eventually geting round to re-establishing a genuine left.

I was active in the anti-apartheid movement more than 40 years ago. Of course it mobilized moral outrage against the regime. But it didn't also have to deal with the bizarre phenomena of people pretending to be on the side of the blacks insisting that their contribution to the struggle was endlessly explaining that Apartheid was permanent and the situation would get worse and worse.

There was a left then and it was taken for granted that you express confidence in victory and analyse the enemy's growing isolation and defeat and the tactics for defeating it.

The pseudo-left hides its active undermining by expressing "moral outrage" in a way that reinforces the idea that "Nothing ever changes".

Now this thread is about analysing recent events related to Gaza. Please stick to that and discuss other matters in other threads.

 • Re: GAZA

Posted by arthur at 2007-07-12 08:01 PM
A very interesting Open Letter to Tony Blair from Foreign Ministers of 10 EU Mediterranean states.

This does look to me like the direction things will move in.

PS I won't have much time to keep up with anything for the next couple of weeks.

 • Re: GAZA

Posted by Cyberman at 2007-07-13 09:49 PM

Yes, events will probably move in that direction in the short term but there'll be no solution until they start to move in this direction:

 • Re: GAZA

Posted by GuruJane at 2007-07-15 04:17 PM

A new poll indicates Hamas's political support in Gaza is collapsing. Furthermore, the new "third way" PNA emergency government has outlasted the 30 day timelimit and is now apparently an "interim" government and is being expanded.


Earlier reports stated Shin Bet was having trouble coming up with a list of 250 Palestinian prisoners for release who would have "credibility" without having "blood on their hands" which would create a political crisis in Israel.


As result Israel has decided to give amnesty to 178  Fateh who have been on their hitlist for years.


In terms of domestic politics it is much easier for Israel to sell amnesty before recipients have been convicted by the Israeli legal system rather than after.


Wonder how much influence Blair had on this development, since I think amnesty  was one of the tools he used to break the impasse in Northern Ireland? The appointment of Barak as Defense minister would also have been significant. Reportedly it was Barak who negotiated the terms of the amnesty with senior PA figures.


Whether this has a benefical effect from Israel and US point of view will depend on whether Abbas can fold the al Aqsa Brigades into the PNA security forces. However, the political momentum towards the establishment of the Palestinian state is being maintained.


Feel the odds have lengthned against Barghouti being released in short term future as it would be in Abbas's, Israel's, US's and Blair's interests to promote the Third Way government  to the point where it can achieve electoral endorsement. The Gaza poll gives them hope.

 • Re: GAZA

Posted by Cyberman at 2007-07-16 03:24 AM

Yes it looks like the Americans and the Israelis have succeeded in completely undermining Hamas's support. It may have been kinder to have actually spelt out to the Palestinians just what the consequences of voting for Hamas would be before they voted. No doubt they thought that the elections were free and fair!

It does seem that the tactic now is to do a quick deal with Fatah in the West Bank and 'invite' the Gazan population to join later. It's to be hoped that it doesn't happen. There is no justice in this non-solution. 

 In 1969 a Marxist PLO faction, the Popular Democratic Front, came up with a different idea - that there should be a secular, democratic state with equality for all its citizens irrespective of their religion or ethnicity. However a combination of decisive rejection by a majority on both sides and military defeat at the hands of Israel persuaded the PLO to drop it and press for two states instead.

The idea never quite died out in some circles, and it has resurfaced in the last few years with growing numbers of adherents. The shared state idea is, unsurprisingly, unwelcome to Zionists. Many Palestinians, especially those under Israeli occupation, are also unhappy with the idea, though for different reasons. But this in itself is not a sufficient reason for dismissing it.

There are two main arguments for the unitary state - that, on the one hand, the two-state solution is no longer feasible and that, even  it were, it is not desirable. It would  enable the survival of an exclusivist ethno-religious state that insists on its prior claim to the land and its right to punish and deprive the indigenous inhabitants.

Israel’s colonisation of Palestinian land has made a Palestinian state unviable, as a glance at the map of the West Bank with its colonies, bypass roads and the barrier wall  shows. It would  lead to an inequitable division of the land (the Palestinian territories comprise 22 percent of the original Palestine) and could not accommodate all the refugees who have the right to return.

The West Bank now houses 400,000 Jewish settlers (plus an extra 200,000 in East Jerusalem), and 80 percent of its water has been siphoned off to Israel. When the wall is completed, about 40 percent of the land will be left in unconnected parts incapable of being formed into a state. 

For Palestinians who see no logistical possibility of a separate Palestinian state, a single state also provides a base for Palestinian nationhood.  The Palestinians’ problem is how to regain their lost land, return their refugees and build a normal life. None of these aims can be realised while Israel, as a Zionist, exclusivist state, remains. The only humane, just and practical outcome is that of sharing the land between the Israelis and Palestinians already there, while allowing those who were displaced to return. This is not the same as “throwing the Israelis into the sea”, which opponents of this idea usually claim.

Numerous objections to this solution have been raised. Crudely, they may be summed up by saying Jews in Israel will resist the dismantling of the Zionist state, and the balance of power favours them. That is true - for now. But the moral force of this solution remains.

 • israeli backs west bank exit

Posted by kerrb at 2007-07-28 07:19 PM
Israeli backs West Bank Exit

ISRAELI Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon has backed a withdrawal from most of the occupied territories in the West Bank as part of a peace agreement with the Palestinians, the first such public comments from a top member of the current Israeli Government.

It was in Israel's interest to "leave the majority of the territory of Judea and Samaria while maintaining the large settlement blocs", Mr Ramon told public radio in an interview last night.

"We should not insist on keeping territories when their continued occupation threatens our national existence and harms our position in the world."

- The Australian

Bill Kerr

 • Re: GAZA

Posted by GuruJane at 2007-07-29 04:15 PM

When the prisoners were released it was interesting to see them laying wreaths on Arafat's grave in an orchestrated photo op riposte to the earlier images of Hamas trashing the pictures and office of Arafat and Abbas, co founders of the PLO. 


The survivors of the 1957 generation are on the offensive against  the 1980s islamist arrivestes. As a newly accredited senior citizen I can only applaud!

 • Re: GAZA

Posted by arthur at 2007-07-30 09:11 PM

Not sure about the significance of the Arafat ceremony. But there is a young guard in Fateh as well as an old guard. Dahlan's wing has just been defeated, as demanded by both Barghouti and Hamas and the old guard has agreed to real reform.

Meanwhile replacing the Israeli occupation with NATO forces is starting to enter the mainstream Israeli discourse.

The bewilderment expressed by the Israeli Interior Minister captures the mood.

If we withdraw from the settlements, Hamas will rear its head,

This "argument" from opponents of withdrawing is obviously intended to demoralize rather than inspire the opponents of getting out, in much the same sort of way that the pseudo-left does against progressives. Nobody can sustain an occupation that basis.

 • Re: GAZA

Posted by GuruJane at 2007-07-31 02:10 AM

Hi Arthur.

Images: Popular cultural symbolism and deliberately orchestrated by PLO. As commented once before I felt very strongly that Palestinians including in Gaza would have been shocked  and disturbed at the sight of Arafat's face being trampled by Hamas upstarts and his house being trashed, no matter how dishillusioned they were with  Fateh. 


And then there was Abu Mazen, co founder, watching it on television. Reputedly cautious, weak, indecisive, what was he feeling?  Well I find it extremely difficult to believe that anybody survives at the highest echelons of the PLO for 50 years without being tough, tough, tough and for not being assassinated by the Israelis, adroit, adroit, adroit (assuming he hasn't been on the Mossad payroll.) Since the putsch he's moved at speed of light and is still forcing action. I particularly liked his condition that Hamas will have to apologise to the Palestinian people for its (disgraceful) behaviour.


Younger Fateh brigade:  Yes. But significantly Abbas did not appoint them to interim government, he appointed the "Third Way" independants and technos who are supposedly impervious to corruption. You never know with these younger brigades, maybe all they want is to replace the older at same trough? Anyway, it keeps the pressure on Fateh to reform. The Quartet love it.  And so the money rolls in. Clever move.


Nato troops: Suspect what's being factored  in and massaged  here is the possibility of Hamas provoking an Israeli invasion and an outcome similar to Lebanon last year, where international forces end up combining with PNA security forces to secure Gaza and bring attacks on Israel to an end? I think the likelihood of invasion depends on whether Hamas blinks and agrees to elections where, if the  two recent Palestinian polls are any guide, it will be given the boot.






 • Re: GAZA

Posted by arthur at 2007-07-31 10:26 AM

1. I agree with you that Abbas has acted decisively and adroitly.

2. Also agree that Hamas trashing Arafat would have shocked and disturbed Palestinians regardless of disillusionment with Fateh old guard. However that strikes me as just a blunder by Hamas (along with several other blunders in failure to discipline their forces), rather than a deliberate stand taken by Hamas leadership or an explanation for decisive response.

3. Abbas had to act decisively once it became clear that the fighting was for full control of Gaza - and he did. The decision must have been taken before the actual military takeover by Hamas armed forces. (I linked earlier in this thread to reports from well before the full takeover actually happened, demonstrating that it was widely known it was about to happen).

4. The crucial decision taken by Abbas was to NOT order the Presidential Guard to back Dahlan against Hamas but only defend Palestinian institutions, (including the Presidential compound that Dahlan's forces ended up retreating to). This was reported as Abbas being "indecisive", but must have been a conscious decision.

5. Although the emergency government obviously relies on Fateh security forces, it would have been out of the question for Abbas to have appointed a Fateh dominated government (from any faction) in view of Fateh's major defeat at the election. So I wouldn't call that a clever move, but the only possible one (confirming as an accepted reality the absolute necessity of Fateh reform, not just exerting pressure for it). The money rolling in instantly is because the opportunity to end the absurd financial siege without acknowledging failure was there. The Quartet (and Israeli government) were already abandoning it and moved decisively together with Abbas as soon as the opportunity arose.

6. This reflects a huge advance in demoralization of Israeli rejectionism. The Israeli response to "Iranian/Syrian/jihadi terrorists" suddenly emerging in full control of neighbouring territory is to accept a resumed flow of international funds to that territory as well as to the West Bank!!! The degree of shell shock among Israelis who were threatening "civil war" when Sharon pulled out of Gaza must be immense. No mobilization whatever.

7. Don't  worry  about  being  certified  as a  "senior citizen".  You remain aware that Hamas are mere "arrivistes" compared with Fateh's record leading the Palestinian national struggle while so many others are having "senior moments" to handle the cognitive dissonance of the Israeli government declaring Fateh to be its "last best hope for peace". For the pseudo-left to insist that Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank reflects success of the Zionist conspiracy to establish a Palestinian State and a crushing defeat for Palestinian reistance is nothing remarkable. But watching Zionists also trying to internalize a similar picture is quite fascinating.

Shades of Nixon bombing Hanoi into allowing the US to achieve peace with honour by recovering POWs while withdrawing.

Otto: Shut up. We didn't lose Vietnam. It was a tie.

8. The ongoing smaller scale fighting in Gaza which which went on for months before the final events fundamentally arose from Hamas neither being able (or allowed) to actually govern despite its majority, nor being willing to accept fresh elections to break the impasse.

9. Remember that Hamas won the elections in large part because Fateh split - with the young guard refusing to accept the old guard's ignoring the results of Fateh primaries in a last futile stand against Fateh reform. Barghouti actually registered a new party,  (including both Dahlan and Jibril) on the day nominations closed. The subsequent compromise still left Fateh in complete disarray. Without that split, led by Barghouti, Hamas would certainly have gained greatly as Fateh continued its decline, but it would have ended up in coalition with Fateh (as it wanted) rather than having to take responsibility for its policies by forming a government itself.

10. It is not a new development that Hamas would now lose any election. This followed from having found itself in government with a program designed only for opposition. The inevitability of electoral defeat was the reason Hamas refused to allow resolution of the ongoing impasse by rejecting demands for fresh elections before their constitutional four year term was completed.

11. I agree that:

You never know with these younger brigades, maybe all they want is to replace the older at same trough?

The interesting new development is that some of the elements of the young guard most likely to be inclined that way have now ben isolated.

12. As far as I can make out, Hamas decided on a military takeover to pre-empt obvious preparations strengthening security forces hostile to Hamas that would enforce in Gaza an eventual decision by Abbas to end the impasse by declaring emergency rule and holding fresh elections. (That would appear to be the substance behind reports of a US organized coup against democracy in Palestine).

13. Both leaderships must have understood the result would be Hamas actually being able to govern in Gaza, where they did have majority support, instead of endless battles with Dahlan, and the Palestine Authority being able to negotiate with the Israelis, free of the financial siege. What's disgraceful is the hundreds of Palestinian casualties before that result.

14. NATO or other international troops cannot enter Gaza without acceptance by Hamas any more than UN troops could enter southern Lebanon without acceptance by Hezbollah. Israel does not have and never has had the option of somebody else fighting to maintain its occupation. That is why the Israeli government has always opposed international forces (who they understand perfectly well will not fight), while the PLO has demanded them. Asking for international forces implies accepting the end of occupation.

15. I still maintain that was the point of the Lebanon war. The outcome of Israel invading Lebanon (after having given up nearly 20 years of occupation) could only be Israel having to withdraw from Lebanon after a demoralizing demonstration of futility. The point is that international forces will be needed in the West Bank so that Israeli withdrawal after a 40 year occupation is not perceived by Israelis as an unqualified victory for the Palestinians, just as in Lebanon. Demobilizing the settlers required some Israeli demoralization and killing a thousand or so Lebanese to accomplish nothing was the way the Israeli leadership went about it.

PS Apologies in advance but I'm likely to not be able to follow up much for a while.