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What was the alternative?

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

Submitted by Pat (United States), Aug 16, 2005 at 13:11

It's easy to blame Sharon for taking this action, but we need to face the fact that the West (including the US) had pretty much backed him into a corner. We (at least our presidents) and Europe all but lionized Yasir Arafat during the 1990s.

We watched Arafat turn down peace offers and start intifadas and bomb people during their Passover seders and then blamed Israel for its responses to terror. Israeli "occupation" was to blame for everything.

Why should Israel fight this battle alone? We demonized the settlements, but now we complain that the withdrawal from Gaza is a mistake? Didn't some in the US Congress demand that no American aid go for settlements in the "occupied territories"?

I have no doubt that Israel can defend itself. My hope is that they will resist international pressure to provide right of way between the West Bank and Gaza. Why can't the Gazans go through Egypt? Why can't the West Bank inhabitants do their trade with Jordan? (What did they do before 1967?)

Given the Palestinian response to the 2000 negotiations, Jerusalem should not be available as a capital to a Palestinian state, if one ever is established. That should be Yasir Arafat's legacy.
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