The land for peace concept is in jeopardy, write Aron Heller and Matti Friedman for the Associated Press:
Israeli hard-liners have warned for many years that any territory Israel vacates will be used to attack it. Now they can point to the Hamas missile that slammed into a bus stop in this port city Monday, killing a 39-year-old woman. It was fired from the Gaza Strip, which Israel gave up in 2005 and is now ruled by Hamas militants who reject the existence of the Jewish state. … Israelis who never thought they would be living under rocket fire prepared bomb shelters. Newspapers and TV stations displayed color-coded maps informing Israelis that they had 15, 30 or 45 seconds to reach cover after a warning siren goes off. In Ashdod malls, directions to the nearest shelters were posted.
It's called learning the hard way. After all, the same lesson was evident in 2006, when Hizbullah took advantage of the IDF's 2000 retreat from its Lebanese cordon sanitaire to snuggle right up to the border and shoot off missiles. As the Hamas rockets improve, an ever-larger portion of Israel's population comes under fire, now estimated between 700,000 and a million persons, with the number steadily growing. It's only a matter of time until the rockets reach Tel Aviv, the country's largest city, and Dimona, the site of its nuclear plant.
Israeli intelligence apparently estimates that Hizbullah now possesses rockets with a range that can reach Tel Aviv and beyond, targeting the vast majority of Israelis. As Yaakov Amidror, a former general, puts it, "The historical lesson of Oslo, of Lebanon and of Gaza proves that with every concession, every territory we leave is used for attacks against us." One wonders whether this lesson will be remembered when negotiations over the West Bank and the Golan Heights start up again. (December 31, 2008)