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WHAT SORT OF SIGNAL IS ISRAEL SENDING?

Reader comment on item: Israel Shuns Victory

Submitted by Dr. Steve Carol (United States), Mar 28, 2006 at 16:18

THE RIGHT QUESTION: WHAT SORT OF SIGNAL ARE YOU SENDING TO YOUR ENEMIES?
by Dr. Steve Carol
March 26, 2006

The day before the proclamation of the re-establishment of the State of Israel, the Egyptian army invaded from the Gaza strip and threatened the coastal heartland of the nascent Jewish State. Flash forward 58 years. Now, newer more deadly, longer range rockets fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza, threaten that very same Israeli heartland.

What is alarming is how Israel responded to these two very similar threats. In 1948, the Israeli Defense Force battled the Egyptian army and drove it back towards Egypt. They trapped a portion of the Egyptian army including future Egyptian president Gamal Abdul Nasser in the Faluja pocket. After driving into the Sinai for the first time in the 125+ year Arab war against the Jews of the Land of Israel, the Israelis forced Egypt to agree to an armistice. This use of Israeli military force into the Gaza Strip would also prove successful in 1955, 1956, and 1967.

In contrast, since the unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in August 2005, there has been neither peace nor tranquility but rather unending rocket fire on Israeli towns from Sderot to the southern outskirts of Ashkelon. Among the targets in Ashkelon is the Rotenberg power plant which supplies 25% of Israel's electricity. During the past 3 months at least three rockets have hit the area very close to the power plant. Ironically this is the same facility which supplies electricity to the Arabs in the Gaza Strip. Obviously, the Arab terrorist groups such as Hamas, Fatah, the Al-Aksa brigades, or Islamic Jihad don't care if their own people would suffer deprivation and a literal black out.
This raises an important question. What is the current Israeli government response to these increasing rocket attacks? The IDF has lobbed a few artillery shells into empty fields. The government owned plant now unbelievably, sent the following warning guidelines to the workers: [Do] "Not …walk in groups or to eat together in the dining rooms" for fear of greater casualties if rockets hit the power plant. Instead of a proactive policy we see retreat and the government conveying a sense of fear.

The policy of unilateral withdrawal pushed by the Sharon government and now echoed by his successor Ehud Olmert, has proven to be a disaster. Over 9,000 Israelis have been uprooted from their homes, and 21 Israeli towns have been demolished. These moves did not bring peace or more security to Israel. In the eyes of those Arabs who wish to destroy the Jewish state, it was a confirmation that tactics of terror have succeeded. They see the Israeli withdrawal as a retreat and a defeat for Israel which is a victory for them.

Further unilateral territorial withdrawals that reduce Israel's strategic depth, that deprive Israel of control of the Judean-Samarian highlands and the Golan Heights, that reduce the time for Israeli mobilization, that increases Israel's chances of being cut into two, and that require greater reliance on "hair-trigger" preemptive strategies will cause Israel far greater existential problems than those it faces now.

Where is the fortitude that Israeli governments in its first 30 years displayed? Rather than issuing advisories for people to avoid being in groups at the workplace and elsewhere, what is needed is the immediate use of military force on a scale no less than what was employed in 1948, during the first Arab war against Israel; 1956 during the Sinai campaign; 1967 during the Six Day War; 1973, during the Yom Kippur War; and 1982 during the Lebanon campaign to clear out terrorist bases from that nation. Anything else signals Israel's enemies that the Jewish state lacks the will to defend its nationhood and encourages their belief that the Jewish state can be destroyed.
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Israelnationalnews.com March 16, 2006

Dr. Steve Carol
Prof. of History (retired)
Official Historian "Middle East Radio Forum" www.middleeastradioforum.org
Senior Fellow Center for Advanced Middle East Studies http://www.cames.ws
Scottsdale, Arizona
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