ALEX ROSE: GAZA DISENGAGEMENT WAS DISASTROUS FOR ISRAEL….SEE NOTE PLEASE
In this rather good column there is a quote of Moshe Arens at the end…. â€œThe Palestinian state may yet follow, but this time it will need Israelâ€™s agreement.â€ which makes a mockery of the entire argument abaout Gaza….A Palarab state will be an irreversible and fatal Gaza redux…..rsk
GAZA DISENGAGEMENT WAS DISASTROUS FOR ISRAEL
by Alex Rose
In July 2006, Israel found itself facing Hizballah in an ill prepared war. The enemy, on the on the other hand was very organized, even to the point of employing a wide array of weapons and defensive positions.
The IDF knew that Hizballah could not be defeated without a major ground operation and its plan did not fail. It simply was not implemented. The failure was primarily one of leadership, Dan Halutz, being an air commander. While he initially directed a credible aerial blitz against military targets and civil infrastructure, he failed to follow this with a decisive ground operation and except for transportation, did not target Lebanonâ€™s infrastructure. The power [electrical, gas, gasoline], communications, media, and governmental system were all left untouched. In summary, the IDF did not adopt and aggressively implement a realistic deterrent posture, with â€œred linesâ€. Upon reflection, there is recognition that the cabinet decision to expand the campaign to the Litani, 4 weeks after the fighting began, was half-hearted and largely designed as a last minute attempt to gain diplomatic leverage.
The infamous Sharon disengagement was completed in August, 2005. In a televised speech to the nation around the implementation of his plan, Sharon promised, â€œThe disengagement will allow us to look inward. Our national agenda will change. In our economic policy, we will be free to turn to closing social gaps and to waging a real fight on poverty. We will advance education and increase the personal security of every citizen of the country.â€ Of course, none of these objectives became reality. In fact, the disengagement proved itself to be a vast error, one whose magnitude has produced measureable disaster. There is no doubt that disengagement produced the seeds for the Hezbollah and Hamas Wars.
Following disengagement, former IDF Chief of Staff, General Moshe Yaâ€™alon is on record saying that the Gaza Strip, â€œis turning into Hamastan, Hezbollahstan and Al-Quaidastan. The situation will get worse over time. The failure of the disengagement will be more and more concrete. We will find ourselves facing a kingdom of terror that is capable of launching into Israel more rockets of greater range and greater effectiveness.â€ He further noted that Israelâ€™s failure to react with all its force if rockets were fired after the disengagement, as promised, eroded the countryâ€™s deterrence; â€œin practice we accepted the firing of the Quassams as though it were rain.â€ These words were uttered long before the wars with Hezbollah and Hamas.
Subsequently, when Olmert replaced Sharon as prime minister, Yaâ€™alon annunciated much wisdom by his observation, â€œWhoever projects weakness in the Middle East, is like a weak animal in the wild; it is attacked. Therefore, if we now try to continue the failed disengagement with convergence, the result will be grave. We will give terrorism a terrible tailwind. We will provide a tailwind for radical Islam across the region. We will create a strategic threat to Jerusalem and to Ben Gurion Airport and to the population centers of the coastal plain. The Quassams and Katyushas will no longer be Sderotâ€™s problem. They will reach the front door in Tel Aviv.â€
The Israeli withdrawal from Gaza was perceived by the Palestinians as a victory for terrorism, clearly demonstrating the fallacy of Sharonâ€™s forecasted increase in â€œpersonal security of every citizen of the countryâ€. This surely manifested itself in the majority support gained by Hamas for its electoral win. In the words of former Defense Minister Moshe Arens, â€œPalestinian terrorism has been rewarded and encouraged, and Israel will have to suffer the consequences.â€ The costs of the Hamas War in the winter of 2008-2009 hardly realized a vastly improved economy as predicted by Sharon, given the huge expenditures for the military effort already strained by the existing huge demands on the state budget to cover relocation of 25 communities and to address the shortfall in revenue due to the loss of a large percentage of Israelâ€™s agricultural export earnings plus the cost of caring for thousands of internal Jewish refugees from Gaza.
It is not often that one finds adherentsâ€™ of political platforms admit to their misjudgments, particularly amongst the media. Professor Gerald Steinberg of Bar Ilan University wrote on June 29, 2006; â€œAs an early Israeli supporter of unilateral disengagement, I admit that this plan, like the earlier Oslo â€˜peace processâ€™ has failed.â€ Professor Dan Schueftan of the University of Haifa stated in an interview with the Jerusalem Post on April 5, 2007 that concessions and withdrawals by Israel arouse more hostility and increase the likelihood of terrorism. On the first anniversary of the IDF total withdrawal from Gaza, Yoel Marcus [supporter of disengagement] wrote, â€œNetanyahu was right when he said that quitting Lebanon and Gaza without agreements would be interpreted by the Palestinians as a victory for them and a sign of our weakness. That Hamas and Hezbollah have grown stronger after our departure is not an accidental.â€ [Ha-Aretz - September 12,2006].
Summing up, the Gaza disengagement gained Israel nothing in return, but on the negative side of the equation [a] resulted in wars [b] encouraged further terrorism [c] realized adverse costs for Israel [d] undermined Israeli resolve [e] diminished IDF training which affected performance in the war with Hezbollah and [f] reduced the established level of democracy in Israel by outright suppression of the right to assembly and to hold demonstrations.
In the case of Gaza, not only was Israel forced into a dangerous war, but on the diplomatic front having to defend actions engaged in while protecting citizens, as a result of the heavily biased Goldstone report. In fact, no discussion on the Gaza War would be complete without a consideration of Judge Richard Goldstone and his infamous report.
Goldstoneâ€™s manner of investigation, demeanor, reporting and drawing conclusions were recognizable as one inflicted by the Stockholm syndrome. His charge was defined on April 3, 2009 by the president of the UN Human Rights Council, â€œto investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law that might have been committed at any time in the context of the military operations that were conducted in Gaza during the period from December 27, 2008 and January 18, 2009, whether before, during or after.â€ The flawed mission under Goldstoneâ€™s care has been described as yet another UN travesty of justice. It is sufficient to state here that Goldstone branded Israel as the aggressor and Hamas as the victim, notwithstanding the fact that Israel sustained 8 years of Hamas rocket shelling into its southern region and not retaliating. Further as a testimony of his questionable character, it should be noted that Mar Robinson, no friend of Israel and a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights turned down the invitation to assume the position which Goldstone accepted because, â€œI felt strongly that the Councilâ€™s resolution was one-sided and did not permit a balanced approach to determining the situation on the ground.â€
In an interview with Jewish Current Issues on July 27, 2005, Dr. Levin stated that peace will be â€œdetermined by the decisions and actions of the Arabs and not by Israelâ€.
This view was expressed by the writer in the July, 2003 edition of Think-Israel, but for different reasoning [ref. "Only the Arabs can make peace"]. Could not the vast some of money handed to the PA for arms, infrastructure development, education etc. be more sensibly donated to the Arab populous as encouragement to relocate with the surrounding Arab states? Support for this idea by Saudi Arabia et al would surely demonstrate sincerity on the part of the Arab League for a true peace. Israel has lost the public relations war simply because following the Begin-Shamir era there has been no Israeli leader to proclaim Jewish rights to Judea, Samaria & Gaza. All that the world hears from Israel is â€œpeaceâ€ whereas the Arabs vigorously pursue their claims on false mythology and bogus history. The Stockholm syndrome or its corollary the Oslo Syndrome readily explains the Israeli conduct.
In his brilliant tour de force, â€œFrom Balfour to a Palestinian stateâ€ which appeared in the Jerusalem Post of November 3, 2009, Moshe Arens concludes, â€œThe Palestinian state may yet follow, but this time it will need Israelâ€™s agreement.â€
Alex Rose is an engineering consultant. He was formerly on the Executive of Americans for a Safe Israel and a founding member of CAMERA New York. He made Aliyah in 2003 and now resides in Ashkelon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 08-673-2555
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