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We wonder why it is being done at all

Reader comment on item: [Israel's Gaza Withdrawal:] A Democracy Killing Itself

Submitted by Kenneth S. Besig (Israel), Aug 15, 2005 at 12:09

The great literary commentator, Samuel Johnson, once remarked that a particular phenomenon was like a dog walking on it's hind legs, it wasn't done well, Johnson opined, but one wondered why it was being done at all.

This is exactly what myself and many other Israelis wonder regarding the Sharon disengagement plan, just why is Sharon even doing it?

You must understand that last year, for the first time in five years, the Palestinian terrorist gangs were soundly beaten, their leadership either dead, under Israeli arrest, or in hiding. Arafat was dead, and the financial and political support he contributed to the terrorists had finally ended. The Israeli intelligence services had so deeply infiltrated the terrorist organizations that in a real sense the terrorists didn't and couldn't trust anyone. Even the arms and explosives stockpiles which the terrorists had been relying upon to continue their war were pretty much depleted.

The Israeli security fence was well on it's belated way to completion, and the terrorists who still wanted to murder Israelis had an immeasurably more difficult time carrying out their attacks. In essence, the Palestinian Oslo Terrorist War to annihilate Israel was over, and Israel was well on her way to consolidating and enjoying the fruits of her victory.

And then out of the clear blue sky, and in direct defiance of Mr. Sharon's own personally stated campaign promises, Mr. Sharon and his kitchen cabinet proposed another Oslo Accord style unilateral withdrawal from the disputed territories, actually retreating just as an Israeli victory was at hand. Of course this outraged much of the Israeli public which had just recently voted Mr. Sharon and his Likud another four and a half years in power.

Immediately the Israeli Defence Forces Chief of Staff and his civilian counterpart in the Israeli General Security Services made public their deep misgivings about the Sharon plan, and Mr. Sharon just as immediately fired them. Mr. Sharon then replaced them with reliable yes men who would not only support this dangerous plan, but would be willing to do anything, including violating Israeli law and Israeli civil rights, to see that the Sharon disengagement plan was carried out.

Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, for the past year since the disengagement plan was announced, the Israeli Defence Forces have been effectively placed on hold and not allowed to either react to Palestinian terror or missile attacks, or to inflict reprisal or retaliatory raids on Palestinian weapons stockpiles, missile production or launching sites, or terrorist training and recruitment bases. Indeed, the Gaza Strip is now so well fortified, so well armed, and so well defended by American and European trained Palestinian terrorists/security forces that for the IDF to attempt to enter the Strip by force would require tanks, artillery, attack aircraft, and perhaps as much as two divisions of infantry. Obviously the fighting would be intense with casualties on both sides quite high, especially Palestinian civilian casualties. And worse, the outcome probably wouldn't even be an Israeli military victory, but would almost certainly be an Israeli public relations disaster. The Sharon government has also, in what is even a more bizarre move, tried to abrogate the demilitarization clauses of the Camp David Egyptian/Israeli peace accords, and allow entire regiments of Egyptian soldiers, along with tanks and armored personnel carriers to once again enter the Sinai Peninsula ostensibly to prevent the smuggling of advanced weaponry to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Thankfully, due to immense security and parliamentary pressure, the Sharon government decided just to turn over the main Gaza weapons smuggling route, the so called Philadelphi Corridor, over to the Egyptian police forces. Certainly not as catastrophic move as militarizing the Sinai, but just as certainly a dangerous move which practically guarantees the increased flow of arms, ammunition, and well trained foreign terrorists into the now Judenrein Gaza Strip.

If the Sharon disengagement plan only included the dismantling of Jewish settlements and the forced removal of the Gaza Strip and Northern Shomron Jews, that would be bad enough in that it sends a message of weakness and defeat to an implacable Palestinian enemy. But the sad and frightening truth is that there is much more than this involved, especially the handing over of border control to the Egyptians, and the other dangers that the Sharon plan includes can honestly be said to pose an actual existential danger to the Jewish State of Israel.
May God help us!

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