Quite a few people are discussing Israel’s raiding a Palestinian prison yesterday. It was a rather odd event, but I think I can sum up the story in several brief sentences:
Palestinian terrorists kill an Israeli government minister.
They are caught and put in prison by the Palestinian Authority.
Western nations insist that the PA actually keep them locked up, and arrange to have observers in the prison.
Hamas gets elected to run the government.
Hamas announces it plans to release the terrorists in question from prison.
The western observers ask the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, for assurances that he will keep the agreement and keep the terrorists locked up.
President Abbas declines, saying he will allow the prisoners to be released.
Israel, seeing the killers of a high government official (the equivalent of a minor cabinet secretary, such as the Secretary of the Interior or Labor or Commerce) about to be released, say that WILL not happen.
The observers realize that the situation is going to hell in a handbasket and get the hell out of Dodge.
The Israelis, taking the Palestinians at their word and not willing to see these assassins go free, raid the prison and take the prisoners for themselves. Two or three Palestinians (reports conflict) are killed in the raid.
In response, Palestinians unleash a wave of terror in the West Bank and Gaza, seizing a European Union building, kidnaping about a dozen random Westerners, attacked and burned a British consulate,
Now, to my way of thinking, Israel and the West did exactly the right thing. They treated Hamas as a legitimate governing body (or, at least, a soon-to-be one) and took them at their word. Hamas arrogantly announced that they fully intended to violate an agreement made by the previous government, forged with Israel, the United States, and Great Britain, and then was outraged when those people actually reacted as if they were serious.
Of course, that viewpoint escapes the worthies at the Boston Globe. They declare “a pox on all your houses,” dividing blame on Hamas, Israel, and the West. They don’t quite say what Israel, the US and Great Britain should have done, but blame them anyway for “political motives” and “playing with matches in a tinderbox.”
But they do a pretty good job of glancing over the catalyzing event here — Hamas announcing that they will violate the agreement, and Abbas saying he will comply with that. Because to folks like the Globe’s editors, the Palestinians are the perpetual victims, and cannot be held accountable for their actions.