Israeli withdrawal is correct and necessary

Friday, August 19th, 2005 11:35 am by Neal

Israeli withdrawal is correct and necessary is the title of Charles Krauthammer’s latest essay weighing in on the Gaza pullout experiment we’ve been following. Western support for the pullout has coalesced around several, primary themes:

  1. Gaza and the settlements are fundamentally indefensible.
  2. By giving the Palestinians their own land, Israel is taking the high-road while nullifying the primary justification of those who attack her.
  3. The pullout leaves Israel in a position to defend herself against suicide attacks, thus reducing that threat.
  4. If the Palestinians choose to attack Israel with rockets launched from Gaza, Israel will be justified to retaliate.

Krauthammer puts it this way:

Gaza was simply a bridge too far: settlements too far-flung and small to justify the huge psychological and material cost of defending them. Pulling out of Gaza leaves behind the first truly independent Palestinian state — uncontrolled and highly militant — but one from which Israel is fenced off.

Israel should announce that henceforth, any rocket launched from Palestinian territory will immediately trigger a mechanically automatic response in which five Israeli rockets will be fired back. There will be no human intervention in the loop. Every Palestinian rocket landing in Israel will instantly trigger sensors and preset counter-launchers. Any Palestinian terrorist firing up a rocket will know that he is triggering six: one Palestinian and five Israeli.

Krauthammer concludes with a discussion of the those who believe that Gaza is just the first of many concessions that Israel will need to make. He writes,

The second problem is world reaction to the Gaza withdrawal. Far from Israel getting any credit for this deeply wrenching action, the demand now is for yet more concessions — from Israel. The New York Times called the Gaza withdrawal “only the beginning” and declared sonorously that Ariel Sharon “must also be forewarned” that giving up the West Bank must be next.

This is a counsel of folly. The idea that if only Israel made more concessions and more withdrawals, the Palestinians will be enticed into making peace is flatly contradicted by history.

The Gaza withdrawal is not the beginning but the end. Apart from perhaps some evacuations of outlying settlements on the West Bank, it is the end of the concession road for Israel. And it is the beginning of the new era of self-sufficiency and separation in which Israel ensures its security not by concessions, but by fortification, barrier creation, realism and patient waiting.

Waiting for the first-ever genuine Palestinian concessions. Waiting for the Palestinians to honor the promises — to recognize Israel and renounce terrorism — they solemnly made at Oslo and brazenly betrayed. That’s the next step. Without it, nothing happens.

Perhaps Sharon knows what he’s doing after all. One thing is for sure — he has forced the Palestinians hand.

One Response to “Israeli withdrawal is correct and necessary”

  1. tom Says:

    I agree that this seems to be the best approach at this point in time.

    After the ’67 war when Israel was attacked, fought back the attack and then conquered these territories as well as the Sinai region, which was returned in a land for peace plan with Egypt, they should have expelled peopled as needed. That is what Jordan did many years ago.

    When Israel was formed, the West Bank area and part of Jordan were designated for Palestinian use. The refugees who presented a problem in southern Jordan were expelled to the West Bank. If nearly 40 years ago that had been the policy of Israel these territories would not be “Israeli occupied” but rather Israel. Israel was then and continues to be the sane among the insane!