For your perusal, my latest INTO THE FRAY column:
Imbecility squared – Israel’s incomprehensible policy of sustaining the enemy in Gaza
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The policy of trying to placate Hamas with enhanced humanitarian aid is sadly no less farcical than trying to convert a man-eating tiger into a cuddly bunny-rabbit by offering it a diet of premium carrots
It appears this week on the following sites (in alphabetical order):
ISRAELI FRONTLINE: http://www.israelifrontline.com/2018/10/into-the-fray-imbecility-squared-israels-incomprehensible-policy-of-sustaining-the-enemy-in-gaza.html
ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/22913
JERUSALEM HERALD: https://www.jerusalem-herald.com/single-post/2018/10/31/Israel-To-Gaza-Feeding-Carrots-To-Tigers
JEWISH PRESS: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/into-the-fray-martin-sherman/into-the-fray-imbecility-squared-israels-incomprehensible-policy-of-sustaining-the-enemy-in-gaza/2018/10/29/
JEWS DOWN UNDER: https://jewsdownunder.com/2018/10/26/into-the-frayimbecility-squared-israels-incomprehensible-policy-of-sustaining-the-enemy-in-gaza/
Several short excerpts:
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered…[the] reopen[ing of] the Kerem Shalom and Erez border crossings in Gaza. The defense ministry said that the decision was made after consultations with security officials – Y-Netnews, October 21, 2018.
Most of the resources entering the Gaza Strip go toward digging tunnels and manufacturing rockets. – Brig. Gen. Yehuda Fuchs, outgoing head of IDF’s Gaza Division, Times of Israel, October 24, 2018.
On October 13, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced resolutely that Israel would not resume the supply of fuel to Gaza until the rioting on the fence stops.
On October 24, Defense Minister Liberman announced that Israel would resume the supply of fuel—despite the fact that rioting on the fence continued unabated.
The proof of the pudding…
The juxtaposition of these two diametrically contradictory declarations of intent starkly underscores the utter lack of any coherent strategy on the part of Israel regarding Gaza…, ever since Israel’s foolhardy unilateral withdrawal in 2005, the military capabilities of the terror organization that rules that hapless enclave—and those of its even more radical off-shoots—have been developed to levels inconceivable back then.
Israel’s self-inflicted helplessness
Perhaps, one of the most astonishing –and disturbing—features is the seeming resignation of many in the Israeli establishment that there is little that Israel can do to solve the problem of Gaza’s abiding enmity…Thus, in a recent radio interview, former National Security Advisor, Maj-Gen (res) Yaakov Amidror, downplayed the hostilities in the South, alleging that Israel is facing a far greater threat in the North–and all its energies should be directed towards contending with that danger.
Indeed, little could be more perturbing to Israelis than Amidror’s assessment that the IDF would have to commit half its strength to overrun Gaza and impose surrender on Hamas—especially as he sees the threat in the North as being more serious “by an order of magnitude, if not more”!..Echoing this gloomy appraisal, Glick suggests: “The main strategic takeaway from Gaza…is that there is no solution, military or otherwise to the Palestinians’ never-ending war against the Jewish state.”
Misguided and misconceived
The bloody impasse, in which Israel seems to have ensnared itself, is not really a problem of operational limitations of the IDF, but conceptual misperception on Israel’s policy makers…Indeed, as long as they persist with their incorrect conceptualization of the conflict—as long as they delude themselves that the Palestinian-Arabs in general, and the Gazans in particular, are a prospective peace partner rather than an implacable enemy—they will continue to lead the country down a perilous cul-de-sac.
Of man-eating tigers and cuddly bunny rabbits…
No less delusional—and detrimental–is the hypothesis that efforts to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza will somehow serve to promote stability and quell the violence. …The reason for this is two-fold…
Singapore in Gaza?
Of course, Liberman should be acutely aware of just how futile offers of material wellbeing are for inducing Hamas to desist from its hostile designs against Israel.
After all, it was in February last year that he proposed an initiative for transforming Gaza “into the Singapore of the Middle East” …The Hamas response was both swift and predictable—and should have dispelled any illusions as to the efficacy of proposing economic gains as an impetus for ending hostilities
The two-front excuse
There is of course, no denying the grave threat facing Israel along its northern border. But this cannot be an excuse for not dealing with the evolving threat in the South …Moreover, if the threat from the North is so grave… there seems little logic in letting the southern threat fester and grow—rather than engaging it immediately before it inevitably assumes greater dimensions.
Arabs in Gaza or Jews in Negev
To end the ongoing saga in Gaza, Israel must retake Gaza…It must then dismantle the Hamas administrative apparatus and take control of governing the enclave itself –for the only way Israel can determine who rules Gaza is by ruling it itself.
The only way Israel can rule Gaza without ruling over a “hateful population” is to remove that population from Gaza—preferably by economic inducements—so they can find more prosperous and secure lives elsewhere, outside the circle of violence and free from the clutches of the cruel, corrupt cliques, who have led them from disaster to debacle for decades.
The fact that this more easily said than done in no way diminishes the imperative to do it. For at the end of the day, there will either be Arabs in Gaza or Jews in the Negev. In the long run, there will not be both.