The antics of the newly "liberated" "Gazans" highlight the reasons why I'm skeptical of future Palestinian self-governance.

GAZA CITY — Palestinians surged triumphantly into demolished Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip early today, torching empty synagogues and firing shots into the air, as the last Israeli soldiers withdrew after 38 years of occupation. ...

Controversy over the synagogues within Israel's government crackled until the last minute, when the majority of Cabinet ministers reversed course by voting against demolition after intensive lobbying by rabbis who opposed the razing of the houses of worship. Private homes in the evacuated settlements had already been demolished. ...

The decision left the fate of the synagogues in Abbas' hands. Palestinian officials had turned down an earlier Israeli request that they act as caretakers because of concerns that they could not prevent militants from defacing the synagogues as symbols of the Israeli presence.

"It is a very unfair decision to put us in a situation where if we demolish them we will be doomed, and if we don't, we'll be doomed," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said. "This is the last thing we want."

Hm, isn't the definitional requirement of a government that it be able to maintain and enforce a monopoly on the use of physical force? If the Palestinians can't control their "militants", then they aren't capable of self-governance.



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