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I get your point, but I'm still in favor of the pull-out

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

Submitted by Armand Laferrere (France), Aug 10, 2005 at 02:26

Mr Pipes is perfectly right that Palestinian hatred will not abate after the pullout. On the other hand, it wouldn't have abated without the pull-out either. Therefore, I believe that the issue of Palestinian feelings towards Israel is entirely irrelevant to how we should judge this decision.

Two considerations, however, are relevant:

1 - The cost of security: Tsahal resources devoted to securing the smallest settlements are a big expense per life saved. It is therefore reasonable to regroup in order to get a better security-per-shekel ratio. Disengaging from the Gush Katif will not reduce Tsahal's ability to inflict reprisals against the Kassam-launchers; but it will free resources for more productive military goals.

2 - The effect on public opinion - not among the Palestinians but among the vast numbers who are ill-informed but basically neutral. In Europe where I live, a large segment of the public tends to sympathize with the Palestinians because they see them as oppressed and Israel as an agressor. The pull-out is changing this quickly: it shows that Israel obviously wants peace, and conversely, the kind of Palestinian reactions that Mr Pipes quotes are clearly not working in their favor. I'm sure the same phenomenon is taking place in other parts of the world ; the recent improvement of Israel's treatment in the UN may be a sign of this.

The pull-out will bring better value for money in defence expenditures. It will improve Israel's standing in world opinion and conversely - if the Palestinians, as seems unfortunately likely, don't make a constructive use of this opportunity to organise their own society in a civilised way - deteriorate the Palestinians' image. This can only be good for Israel. Therefore, Col haCavod to Prime Minister Sharon.

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