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Totally Disagree on Gaza

Reader comment on item: Ariel Sharon's Folly

Submitted by Robert Savet (United States), Apr 5, 2005 at 18:54

Daniel-
Usually, your columns are terrific. But I must disagree with you strongly over this one.

Putting setlements in Gaza was a stupid idea from Day 1. The 8,000 Gaza settlers require an army's protection -- at a cost of at least $50 million annually (none of which the settlers pay). What an absurd waste of precious resources! The settlers may only comprise 1.5% of the Gaza population -- but they occupy 15% of the land and 42% of the seacoast. Their presence is like hurling tear gas cannisters every day into the Palestinian streets. To protect the settlers, you need army checkpoints on every main road. Every day, just to travel, becomes a hassle for the Palestinians, creating even more hatred. Militarily, the army's presence in Gaza accomplishes little. Drawing back to defensible borders is intelligent, not a military defeat! Why waste Israeli military resources and soldiers' lives? The Gaza occupation isn't worth the condemnation and animosity it stirs up in Europe and elsewhere. I think Sharon is smart to give up the headaches of Gaza -- and to concentrate on the keeping the setlements that really matter, strategically and economically!
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