It’s hard to funnel a fire, and still harder to constructively channel popular hatreds. Israeli involvement in civil war in Lebanon, and the American – in Afghanistan brought many side effects and did not fulfill the goals. Now Israel and America fan the civil conflict in Palestine. So far, they don’t succeed. The figures of 20 dead and 66 wounded are comic on the background of participants using mortars and machine guns in crowds. The low wounded-to-dead ratio is suspicious: it’s usually 20:1 or more in mob riots. Palestine is unlikely to slip into civil war: most locals are unwarlike, cautious of both Hamas and Fatah, and not willing to sacrifice their miserable well-being for high-flown ideology.

The idea behind the freezing of aid to Palestine was to convince the masses, specifically government employees and security forces who depend on the aid for payroll, that Hamas is their bad choice. The opposite idea of subsidizing Abbas to pay their wages similarly intends to set up the locals against Hamas. Both contradictory approaches are irrelevant. Israelis should have learned in Lebanon, and Americans – in Afghanistan that money don’t buy loyalty; locals take your money to do their own bidding. What’s Abbas’ bidding? Even if he chooses to betray his nation, Hamas-dominated parliament and guerrillas won’t let him to accommodate Israel. Even if he pushes through, enough Arabs will disregard the treaty. More likely, Abbas would be forced to adopt Hamas’ militant vocabulary to lure its voters. Abbas relies on 80,000+ security forces and yet cannot quash the Hamas. Palestinian government forces are better equipped than Hamas, and better paid. They are also more numerous than Hamas’ active militants. America’s arming the PLO-Fatah is not only immoral, but also useless: Abbas’ problem is not arms or training. Abbas is faced with vigilant, aggressive segment of the Palestinians which won’t go away, nor give way.