By Tuesday, Gaza will probably be Jew free. The Palestinians can't wait to get their claws into the land and tenements left behind by the Settlers. Like buzzards picking over the carcasses of the dead, they are moving in for the "kill". The problem is that the "kill" they've received is the equivalent of rotting meat.
Welcome to Gaza.
In the next few months, as Israeli politics move on and the Settlers re-settle and rebuild the First World existence they created in Gaza - in a new location, the Palestinians will do what they've done wherever they've lived, that is, turn beauty into dross. They might start by building new tenements on the newly freed-up land, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the average man on the street won't notice any change. In dirt do you live and in dirt do you survive.
A political struggle between secularism and fundementalism is already underway within Palestinian society. Hamas is on a mission to create an Islamic Palestinian State, yet your average member on the street is pretty westernised (that's what comes of mixing with those pesky Jews)and not that interested in maintaining an Iranian type of existence. That's what happens when the two cultures clash -and we're only referring to the religion bit.
Forget Israel, the occupation and all that. What about that little thing called "an economy"? Will the PA suddenly try to use the billions of Dollars thrown at them by the Europeans and Americans to improve the lives of their citizens, or will the sand dunes of the ex-Gush Katif become another building site to accomodate the villas for Abbas and his cronies? In other words, will the Palestinian leadership show that they actually give a damn about the futures of the people they are meant to be representing?
Will the money they receieve, be used to fund jobs, build hospitals, schools and libraries or will it pay for the next arms shipments?
I ask these questions because I would like to see results. If the Palestinians really want to have their own state and independence, they need to stop picking on the Jews and get on with sorting their own society out. They've got Gaza, now let them do something positive with it. Let them demonstrate to themselves (let alone Israel and the rest of the world) that they can actually build a society based on the kind of values and standards accepted around the world, as opposed to the culture of death that has reached the highest echelons of their government.
Israel is out of Gaza and we're getting on with our lives. The Palestinian leadership, both the PA and Hamas, have the opportunity to make the most important choice they've ever had to face - do they want life or death?