The US, the Europeans, and the Israelis all seem to be converging around a policy of supporting the Fatah terrorist faction the Palestinian West Bank against the Hamas terrorist faction in Gaza. But this is precisely what we did in the 1990s, when we expected the old terrorist Yasser Arafat to crack down on Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups as his part of the Oslo "peace process."
We saw the result then—more Palestinian terrorism, not less—and I don't see a reason to expect anything different now. The rise of Hamas was made possible by years of indoctrination in fanaticism (including quasi-religious fanaticism, despite Fatah's nominal secularism) by Arafat's Palestinian Authority, which touched off a competition between Hamas and Fatah over which group could produced the most murderous fanatics. Hamas has finally won that competition—but Fatah started it.
The commentary I have seen that gets closest to this truth is a somewhat rambling rumination by Fouad Ajami in the New York Times, linked to below. Cox & Forkum also have a good cartoon on the same theme.
"Brothers to the Bitter End," Fouad Ajami, New York Times, June 19 It isn’t a pretty choice, that between Hamas and Fatah. Indeed, it was the reign of plunder and arrogance that Fatah imposed during its years of primacy that gave Hamas its power and room for maneuver. We must not overdo the distinction between the “secularism” of Fatah and the Islamism of Hamas. In the cruel streets and refugee camps of the Palestinians, this is really a distinction without a difference.
It is idle to think that Gaza could be written off as a Hamas dominion while Fatah held its own in the towns of the West Bank. The abdication and the anarchy have damaged both Palestinian realms. Nablus in the West Bank is no more amenable to reason than is Gaza; the writ of the pitiless preachers and gunmen is the norm in both places….
Arab poets used to write reverential verse in praise of the boys of the stones and the suicide bombers. Now the poetry has subsided, replaced by a silent recognition of the malady that afflicts the Palestinians. Except among the most bigoted and willful of Arabs, there is growing acknowledgment of the depth of the Palestinian crisis. And aside from a handful of the most romantic of Israelis, there is a recognition in that society, as well, of the malignancy of the national movement a stone’s throw away….
Palestinian society has now gone where no “peace processors” or romantic poets dare tread.