The Ghaddaffi Precedent

The rallying of the international community is in fact, as Mr Gaffney says in his article, setting a precedent and one which should be uncomfortable to say the least. But even from the most uncomfortable situation, something good could come out.

Mr Gaffney presents what we can call "scenario 1", under which the "Ghaddafi precedent" is invoked by the Palestinians after gaining UN recognition next September, and Israel finds itself fighting the West and completely isolated and on its own. This, we can call the "nightmare scenario" (Read John Gaffney's full article)

Scenario number 2, the Palestinians in the West Bank revolt against Abbas and Abbas sends his troops and bloodly repress the revolt. The international community, invoking the Ghaddafi precedent, sends troops to defend the Palestinians. At the end, the only group standing to "take over" is Hamas, that thus becomes the rightful Palestinian government both, in the West Bank as well as Gaza.

Scenario number 3, building on the previous one, Abbas asks Israel for help using the ghost of Hamas to spook them. Israel steps in to help Abbas and all hell breaks loose, with Israel possibly confronting the US.

Scenario number 4, a variation of number 2 - it is in this case, the Palestinians in Gaza revolting against Hamas, and it is the PLO taking over at the end. With the elimination of Hamas, the PLO pushes forward for the recognition of Palestine and the evacuation of the Jewish communities in the West Bank with the support of the International community.

Scenario number 5, the surviving Arab dictatorial regimes, spooked by the Ghadaffi precedent, resort to the old time proven technique of blaming Israel and channeling the people's frustration against her. A nice old-fashioned war to "liberate the occupied lands" allows these regimes, especially Syria's, to divert attention from their own wrongdoings. The West, mired already in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lybia, is forced to stay out of it.

Scenario number 6: if any of the prior scenarios pans out, add Ahmedinejad taking advantage of the situation to stregthen Iran's role in the Middle East and its growing closeness with Turkey and Syria. In this new situation, Iran becomes impermeable to Western pressure to stop its Nuclear program. And that means KA-BOOM.

Scenario number 7: Western powers occupy all of the Middle East to restore order and protect freedom for the Arab people. As a consequence, the extreme elements in Arab society, particularly the Islamists, declare Jihad. Under this scenario, this would mean generalized terrorist attacks against western troops stationed in the region and against Israel of course.

Scenario number 8: (advocated indeed by some staff members at the State Department). Invoking the Ghaddafi precedent, the International community sends troops to the West Bank and Gaza to protect the Palestinians and force the evacuation of Israeli troops at least, and possibly Israelis living on the "wrong side" of the green line.

We can come up with more possible scenarios, since nobody sane would at this point forecast what is going to happen in the Middle East and what direction the change will take, for we only know that things are not going to be the same as they were.

The bottom line is that in any conceivable scenario, Israel's short term security is undermined. If Democracy takes hold indeed in Arab society, we can see at the end of the tunnel a time when Israel and her Arab neighbors can work on regional cooperation; but to get there you need to get through the short term and that's the difficult part.


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