13 November 2006

Blinded by good will

George Soros is a fascinating figure for me, probably due to my own insufficient knowledge of everything related to this colorful personality. One thing seemed certain - he must be doing at least something right, since he causes so much histrionics both on the far left and the far right.

After reading the article Blinded by a concept on his site, aptly named georgesoros.com, I became even more discombobulated by that figure, although some of the fascination is gone now, to tell you the truth.

It is not that I disagree with article as a whole: there are some points that are quite valid. Yes, the WOT is not exactly what one would call a resounding success. Yes, more effort could and should be made on what Soros calls "political approach". Yes, the fine points of defining the enemy could be investigated to smithereens to better understand the enemy's nature.

So far so good. But then, to illustrate his stand on Israeli mistakes in handling Gaza since the disengagement, Soros uses the six-point plan negotiated by James Wolfensohn, the former head of the World Bank for implementation by Israel.

None of the six points was implemented. This contributed to Hamas's electoral victory.
I have looked up the plan, and here are its six elements:
  1. Border crossings and trade corridors
  2. Movement between the West Bank and Gaza
  3. Movement within the West Bank
  4. The Gaza airport and seaport
  5. The houses in the Israeli settlements
  6. And their agricultural assets
Taken one by one, here are the results:
  1. Even the border crossing between the Gaza and Egypt gets closed frequently due to acts of violence. Guess on which side of the border the violence occurs? And there are no Israelis involved in this one. The border crossings between Gaza and Israel get sabotaged by interminable attacks every few weeks and are a permanent security threat.
  2. See item 1: if even a border crossing is a problem, how is the security of passage between the West Bank and Gaza to be provided?
  3. Movement within the West Bank: each time IDF lifts a few checkposts, the number of security alerts raises dramatically. The security fence is not yet completed, allowing a determined suicide bomber quite a few points of possible entrance.
  4. Airport and seaport: come on - is it serious to even mention it when IDF is so far less then successful in preventing the smuggling of arms via the uncounted tunnels (that number more than a hundred by now)?
  5. The houses in the Israeli settlements? Lest we forget - the Gazan authorities did not want the houses when the issue was relevant.
  6. And their agricultural assets... Good of Soros to mention this. Here is a sad example of what use are the assets left by the settlers put to. The stories of looting and destruction of these assets (purchased from the settlers by various philanthropists and the World Bank for use by Gazans) are endless, but the two following pictures easily take the biscuit:

And after:

(Hat tip - LGF). And that hole in the ground is not exactly for irrigation purposes, to be sure.

No, all this is not to say that Israel is lily white in the Gazan affairs, but as long as Qassams keep flying and the attempts to kill more Jews and to disrupt the border crossings operation continue, it is very difficult to see what could be done to improve the Gazans' lot.

To summarize: I am still not sure about Mr. Soros. What I am sure about is that trying to macro-manage a conflict while knowing little about what is going on is not a good idea. Little knowledge is always a dangerous thing. Good will is fine, but not when applying it blindly.