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That's not the point...

Reader comment on item: "Today Gaza, Tomorrow Jerusalem"

Submitted by diane (United States), Aug 9, 2005 at 13:13

With all due respect, I think the "occupation is the problem" argument that Mr. Pipes raises here is a straw man.

I don't think any rational person still believes that Zionist occupation is the problem. Experience in New York, DC, Bali,Moscow, Riyyad, Madrid, London, Sharm el-Sheik etc. have proved otherwise. As Mr Pipes himself often says, Islamist extremism in the problem. That said, the Gaza disengagement is good domestic policy for Israel and I applaud PM Sharon for the courage to propose it and then to follow through over the loud objections of his own party. (That's leadership!)

Here's why the pullout is good domestic policy:

1. The costly occupation of Gaza for the sake of 8,000 Israeli citizens makes little sense economically for Israel, and Israel's economy has taken a big hit since the second intifadah: Hamas is not wrong about that.

2. As a democracy, Israel is crippled by the "demographic time bomb" that Arab population growth represents. Anyone who can count knows Gaza is demographically un-annexable; removing 8,000 settlers from the midst of more than a million Arabs is just facing facts and getting on with the inevitable.

3. The pull-out will permit Israel to concentrate its security resources in the West Bank and Jerusalem, where Israelis live in large numbers.

4. The terror fence has already made attacks in these areas few and far between and will continue to do so, no matter what spin Hamas chooses to put on it. Negotiating future borders in the West Bank from a position of moral and military power, in a climate of peace and quiet, is in Israel's best interest.

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