INTO THE FRAY Israel’s stark option: Arabs in Gaza or Jews in the Negev

For your perusal, my latest INTO THE FRAY column:

Israel’s stark option: Arabs in Gaza or Jews in the Negev

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Albert Einstein: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

It appears this week on the following sites (in alphabetical order):

ISRAELI FRONTLINE: (to be posted)

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… –Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, September 28, 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…—Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, October 25, 2004.

The problem in Gaza is not operational. It is conceptual!

If the Israeli leadership persists with its perception of the Palestinian-Arabs in general, and the Gazans in particular, as potential partners in some future peace arrangement, rather than perceiving them as they perceive themselves–as implacable enemies, whose enmity towards the Jewish state is not rooted in what it does, but in what it is—it will never be able to formulate a policy capable of effectively dealing the continuing, and continually intensifying, threat emanating from the Gaza Strip.

Fatal failure of conventional wisdom

Time and again, over the course of the conflict, it has been shown, clearly and convincingly, that the penury and privation are not the reason for Arab enmity towards Israel. Quite the reverse! It is Arab enmity towards Israel that is reason for the prevailing penury and privation.

Almost inevitably, the dismaying recurrence of violence along Israel’s southern border brings to mind the pithy dictum attributed to Albert Einstein, who reportedly observed: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Irresponsible restraint

Israeli home in Beer Sheba hit by Hamas rocket

It is in this context that the Israeli government’s decision to refrain from decisive military action, after almost eight months of violence against its civilians in the South, must be assessed—and branded not only imprudent but irresponsible!

If, back in 2005, on the eve of the “Disengagement”, some far-sighted individual had predicted that reality would be as it is today, his caveats would have been disdainfully dismissed as unfounded scaremongering.

Tenacious strategic enmity

Accordingly, it would be perilous for Israel to underestimate the gravity of the long-term strategic significance of the tenacious enmity that Hamas—and its more radical offshoots—harbor against it.

Indeed, every time Israel has managed to thwart a given mode of terrorist activity, the Palestinian-Arabs have managed to devise methods to overcome, or circumvent the Israeli countermeasures.

Growing disaffection with government inaction

Residents from Gaza border communities protest Israel’s inaction

The ramifications of this enduring Judeocidal war are beginning to take their toll on Israeli society. The increasingly vociferous demonstrations by the residents of the Israeli communities close to the Gaza border, reflect the growing impatience with what is perceived as the government’s impotence in responding to the challenge from the terror organizations in Gaza—and its manifest failure to discharge its most basic duty—providing security to its citizens.

Justified skepticism

There is a perceptible sense of skepticism as to the government’s intentions regarding Gaza and its ability to deal adequately with the challenges it poses. This is hardly surprising, for when it comes to Gaza—as the opening excerpts clearly indicate (see above)—the Israeli public has been led gravely astray in the past, with previous assessments being proven wildly inaccurate.

The bitter dilemma

Given the continual upgrading of the military capabilities in Gaza, the irrelevance of humanitarian aid for stability, the growing disaffection of Israel’s civilian population, and the looming threats on other fronts, the Israeli leadership must internalize the bitter truth: The solution to the problem of Gaza is its deconstruction—not its reconstruction. For, at the end of the day, it must face a regrettable but unavoidable dilemma: Eventually, there will either be Arabs in Gaza or Jews in the Negev. In the long run, there will not be both!

As usual your talkbacks/comments/critiques welcome,
Best wishes,

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