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Sharon's Disengagment plan is a Step in the Right Direction

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

Submitted by Logan (United States), Aug 23, 2005 at 12:06

We must only look back to the conflict between Israel and Egypt to comprehend the potential benefits of Sharon's disengagment plan. After the creation of Israel in 1948, Arab countries established a complete economic boycott of Israel, including the Egyptian blockade of the Suez Canal. This defied the armistice agreement of 1949. Along with continued terrorist attacks, the blockade of the canal led Israel to attack Egypt in 1967. Israel captured virtually the entire Sinai Peninsula and shocked the Arab world.

In 1973, Egypt and Syria attacked Israel to regain control of Sinai. Israel defeated the Egyptian and Syrian forces, but a state of unrest continued. Israel's occupation of the Sinai canal proved to be essential for the free flow of goods. During their time of occuptaion, many Jewish villages were established and a Jewish community was born. However, instead of continuing occupation of the land, Israel gave back the land to the Egypt in exchange for peace. PEACEFUL REALATIONS BETWEEN EGYPT AND ISRAEL CONTINUE TODAY. The president of Egypt, Anwar al-Sadat, claimed the peaceful negotiations are "One of the greatest achievements of our time". With some optimism, we may see simular steps towards peace from the current disengagment plan.

Ariel Sharon's recognizes the need to act upon the stagnant and violent situation between Israel and Palestine. He has come to the conclusion that there is no Palestinian partner in which a bilateral settlement would be possible. Although the plan will not be contingent on Palestinian cooperation, it recognizes the needs of both countries. Disengagement from the Gaza Strip and from the four settlements in the West Bank has the potential to improve the Palestinian economy and the quality of Palestinian life. (9) Reducing the tension between Israel and Palestine may shift their attention off warfare, to more important aspects of life, such as getting an education and raising a healthy family.

Although the plan will displace over 7,000 Jewish settlers, it is likely that the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank would be lost in any future negotiations with Palestine. These settlers are being generously compensated for the valuables they leave behind. New houses are being built within Israeli boarders that will provide better security for both Israel and Palestine. Jewish settlers that are displaced will be less exposed to Palestinian violence and Palestinians will be separated from Israeli forces.

Ariel Sharon's plan is not perfect. It will not satisfy everyone's desires nor will it immediately end hostilities between Palestinians and Israeli's. The plan is, however, a crucial step towards peace. Palestinians will control the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank, which have led to numerous terrorist attacks and fierce battles. Israel will continue being a strong democracy in the Middle East. In a time characterized by relentless terror and devastation, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan will ease tensions in the Middle East and help put an end to the cycle of violence.

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