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Radical Overstatement, Wrong Focus

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

Submitted by ron thompson (United States), Aug 16, 2005 at 10:51

Sharon's decision is very painful, and it may turn out to be very wrong, but
I think that depends on events that happen next - and in particular Palestinian
behavior. Rather than bemoaning this decision, and otherwise remaining intellectually/
ideologically passive, the friends of Israel, and long-minded Israelis, should be
'setting up' the Palestinians to be (rightfully) held responsible if and when terrorism
This pullout could be framed as a final test of the Palestinians actual
willingness to live in peace in a two-state situation that does not call for an
entire pullback to the 1949 line.
Israel has been intellectually passive for so long - for decades - that this
may seem (is) very difficult, but it should, at long last, be undertaken. The very
novelty of Israel taking the intellectual and moral fight to the Arabs, seeking to
put the 'oppressed' Palestinians on the intellectual defensive, would have the
element of strategic surprise.
There must be a half dozen ways to frame potential and likely Palestinian
behavior/violence in a way that (rightly) puts the onus on them when and if this
pullout doesn't lead to peaceful development of Gaza.
Instead of passively bemoaning the alleged unwisdom of Sharon's decision,
Israelis and US officials and others should be seeking commitments to withhold
or withdraw 'developmental' aid to the "Palestinian entity".
All parties should be told or warned that there is no chance the airport or
seaport will successfully open if terrorism continues.
Residential and business development cannot happen if terrorism continues,
and Israel will return to Gaza as necessary if it does.
Even one suicide bombing will lead to major if not massive retaliation.
Europeans should be publicly invited to join in these warnings or cautions
to the Palestinians.
The culture of hate in Palestinian schools and media and mosques should
be regularly highlighted.
Israel and its friends should stop being intellectually passive, as they are
in only bemoaning or criticizing Sharon's decision.

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