The Daily Bongo
The Gaza Pullout will begin this coming Monday. This is an issue on which I am very conflicted and I find myself doing flip-flops every time I read something about the issue. Should Israel move out of the Gaza Strip? I think that they should. Back in 1979, they were willing to give Gaza to the Egyptians when the peace deal was made between Israel and Egypt over the Sinai. However, Egypt didn't want to take on the Palestinian issue, so it was left with Israel. That's the point I think that many Palestinian supporters miss. Since the 1967 war, the Six-Day War, Israel has made deals with Egypt and Jordan that would have returned the West Bank and the Sinai/Gaza to the groups from which it was taken. The West Bank was captured from Jordan and the Sinai/Gaza from Egypt. Those countries did not want to take back those territories because of the problems that were caused by Palestinian terrorist groups even then. Also, there was the thought that leaving those territories with Israel, and with the Palestinians living like refugees would make Israel look bad, and wind up in the ultimate goal of removing Israel from the area. Don't be mistaken on this issue! The goal of the terrorists is not for self-determination, but the removal of the state of Israel and of all Jews in the area.
Back to the Gaza Pullout. Israel is scheduled to dismantle the settlements in the area beginning on Monday. Settlers have been compensated for their dwellings in the area, and are being encouraged to relocate into other areas of Israel. However, some are not moving because they feel that Gaza is their home. Beginning on Monday, there may be some angry scenes of Israeli soldiers forcibly removing settlers. My problem is that the plan right now is without any concession on the Palestinian Authority. Israel is just leaving. This can and probably will be viewed as weakness by the terrorists and a sign that terrorism does work. Also, there is no guarantee from the PA that terror attacks against Israel will not be launched from Gaza. On the other hand, it does show that Israel is making attempts to deal with the situation, and if terror increases it should show the lack of control of the PA. The thing is that we should already know that the PA has no control over the terrorists, and might even be responsible for instigating terror. For some reason, and some believe that it is anti-semitism, the nations of the world are accepting of the terrorist acts by the Palestinians because they believe it is justified. So even if the acts of terror increase, the Israelis will be blamed for it.
So what should be done about Gaza? The area should be officially transferred to the Palestinian Authority. Here comes the sticking point. There should be some guarantee at least mouthed by the PA that they will staunch terror attacks from Gaza. The only problem is that the PA and Mahmoud Abbas don't appear to be showing a willingness to make such agreements. Ariel Sharon realizes that promises will not be proffered from the other side, and even if they were, those promises would not be kept. So what Sharon does is say that Israel will leave Gaza. The terrorists see it as a victory for terror because basically protection for the settlements has come at a heavy financial and emotional cost. What will happen after the pull-out is what I am concerned about. Will terror attacks stop from Gaza? Will they increase? I think that they will increase because the goal isn't to get Gaza. As Yasser Arafat has said, "Since we cannot defeat Israel in war; we do this in stages. We take any and every territory that we can of Palestine, and establish sovereignty there, and we use it as a springboard to take more. When the time comes, we can get the Arab nations to join us for the final blow against Israel."
And so I flip-flop. The deed is already done at this point, and the pull-out will commence. I think that it is a move which will prove to be a poor one, and one that will result in the deaths of innocent civilians at the hands of Palestinian terrorist groups. The innocent civilians won't only be Jews or Israelis that are killed, but Palestinians that are used by terrorists as human shields or as unsuspecting bombers. I really hope that I am wrong about this, but the history of terror acts in the Middle East from the early 1900s suggests that I will probably be right.
August 13, 2005