For your perusal, my latest INTO THE FRAY column
Gaza: Disaster foretold
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What has unfolded in Gaza should not really surprise anyone willing to face up to the inclement realities. After all, it was not only entirely foreseeable, but easily foreseen
It appears this week on the following sites (in alphabetical order):
ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/23656
JERUSALEM HERALD: https://www.jerusalem-herald.com/single-post/2019/04/01/Gaza-Disaster-Foretold
JEWISH EXAMINER: https://www.jexaminer.com/blank-1/2019/04/01/INTO-THE-FRAY-Gaza—Disaster-foretold
JEWS DOWN UNDER: https://jewsdownunder.com/2019/03/29/into-the-fray-gaza-disaster-foretold/
Several short excerpts:
The nightmare stories of the Likud are well known. After all, they promised Katyusha rockets from Gaza as well. For a year, Gaza has been largely under the rule of the Palestinian Authority. There has not been a single Katyusha rocket. Nor will there be any Katyushas. – Yitzhak Rabin, Radio Interview, July 24, 1995.
I am firmly convinced and truly believe that this disengagement… will be appreciated by those near and far, reduce animosity, break through boycotts and sieges and advance us along the path of peace with the Palestinians and our other neighbors. – Ariel Sharon, Knesset address, October 25, 2004.
These two excerpts—from addresses made almost a decade apart—indicate just how grievously the Israeli public has been led astray for years by its elected leaders.
Distressing record of misjudgment
… Rabin’s disdainful dismissal of clear and present dangers, and Sharon’s massively misguided prognosis…can hardly instill confidence in Israelis as to the competence of their leaders…No less troubling is the display of inane imbecility seen in the debate that followed Sharon’s previously cited Knesset address, in which the disengagement plan was approved…Indeed, some of the more embarrassingly erroneous assessments were exposed in a Channel 2 review of the vote
The English-language transcript – in order of appearance—reads as follows:
Meir Sheetrit (at the time Likud transportation minister), with a marked tone of disdain: “Some claim that there will be a danger, a danger in retreating [from Gaza], a danger to the Negev communities. I have never heard such a ridiculous claim.”…
Shaul Mofaz (then Likud defense minister): “I am convinced the [disengagement] process is necessary and correct. It will provide more security for the citizens of Israel, and will reduce the burden on the security forces. It will extricate the situation from its [current] stagnation and will open the door to a different reality, which will allow talks towards achieving coexistence.]”…
The program even caught Binyamin Netanyahu in a moment he would perhaps like to forget…In an exchange from the Knesset floor, with the National Union’s MK Uri Ariel at the podium, Netanyahu, then finance minister, declared: “Let there be no mistake. In a referendum I will support the disengagement plan.”
The myth of managing the conflict
It is with this dismal history in mind that the Israel public should evaluate the declarations and decisions of its government in the present and the future…
This is true with regard to what appears to be the underlying rationale of the current policy—or lack thereof—of “managing the conflict”…
Gaza: Disaster foretold
But of course, what has unfolded in Gaza should not really surprise anyone. Indeed, as mentioned previously, for anyone willing to face up to the inclement realities, it was not only entirely foreseeable, but easily foreseen….Arik Sharon himself, the driving force behind the 2005 Disengagement, wrote a very similar article himself in the Hebrew daily, Maariv, explicitly elaborating the perils of the very policy he later so resolutely endorsed—and enforced…
Disaster foretold (cont.)
…He accurately predicted: “If we abandon Gaza, it will be taken over by the terror organizations. Palestine Square [in Gaza] will become a launching site for rockets aimed at … Ashkelon.” He then asked: “…what will the IDF do then? Will it once again recapture Gaza? Shell and bomb the towns and refugee camps in the Gaza Strip?”
Finally, noting that, “We all aspire to a political settlement…” he prescribed :“…but we not will reach it by way of surrender but only after crushing terrorism and we can only eliminate terrorism if we control its bases, and fight its gangs there and destroy them.”
Time for a paradigm shift: Evacuation-Compensation for Gazan Arabs
Albert Einstein was attributed as saying “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”
The problem of Gaza was—indisputably—created by the patently ill-advised attempt to foist self-governance on the Gaza Strip. Accordingly, it is not a problem that can be solved by persisting with the same level of thinking that created it…Accordingly, the current paradigm, envisioning a two-state/land-for-peace outcome, must be replaced by one entailing incentivized emigration for the Gazan population, which will allow the non-belligerent civilians to find a more prosperous and secure life in third party countries.
The fact that the incentivized immigration paradigm may be immensely difficult to implement does not make it any less imperative. Indeed, the alternative of not doing so is far worse.
It is, after all, the only level of thinking that can solve the problem, in which two-state/land-for-peace thinking has tragically embroiled both Jew and Arab—for over a quarter-century. The sooner Israeli policy-makers come to terms with this grim reality, the better.