Spark To A Fuse?

February 1, 2006 -- While I could focus on many areas of President Bush’s State of the Union Address on January 31st, the Hamas victory in the Palestine election concerns me the most . . . relative its potential impact on a global basis.


There now is a "recognized terrorist group" (recent exception being the President of Russia???) with the goal of destroying Israel, as the Palestinian ruling party with still very close ties to Iran and Syria.  Both of these countries are known to supply weapons and financial support to Hamas.  And Syria even protects Hamas within its borders.


Yet, there is another significant reality now facing Hamas as the Palestinian ruling party... Any future terrorist’s attacks in Israel or elsewhere could be considered “state sponsored” . . . even if the signature is hidden through another Palestinian terrorist group.  (If it quacks like a duck…)


So, what would be Israel’s response and how strong, especially if it was considered an act of war?  One article that I read recently indicated that Israelis are actually glad that Hamas is now the ruling party, because they believe there are no gray areas left . . . It is either peace or war with the Palestinians.


Moreover, I have a feeling that Israel’s September 11, 2001 equivalent might be the cumulative effect of all the terrorists’ attacks with the potential of each next one being the spark to the fuse of… “That’s it!” . . . especially with Hamas now the Palestinian ruling party and Iran’s disturbing saber rattling approach with its nuclear program.  There very well could be a “do whatever it takes” reaction from Israel that includes Iran and Syria, knowing what could happen if Iran were to develop nuclear weapons.


Another way to grasp the emotional reaction from Israel and its citizens is to apply it to oneself . . . Imagine if all the terrorist attacks in Israel that have been committed by Hamas had taken place in the USA or your country of residence from a neighboring country . . . and then it became the ruling party of this country with the same goals of destroying your country.  (Not a good feeling at all.)


Sadly, there are other countries that border each other that have gone or come very close to war even without what Israel has endured . . . Look at the tenuous relationship with India and Pakistan.  Then there is what could still happen with North Korea that has no shared borders with the USA. (Remember what occurred that eventually led to World War II.)


Hopefully, Hamas will “actually” abandon its terrorist ways and recognize Israel; diplomatic efforts will resolve the Iranian nuclear program; and, Syria will become a responsible neighbor to Israel and Lebanon . . . with at least the first two occurring before a chance situation sparks Israel’s fuse first.  (Discerning real intent can be very elusive too.)


Otherwise, Iraq and Afghanistan could be part of a discussion involving a broader regional war with significant potential of all types of terrorist attacks in the USA, Europe, and elsewhere . . . Having the resolve to do what is necessary will be a must, not a choice, as it was in World War II.


David G. Bancroft
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