Originally written Jun3 16, 2005
Israel appears to be committing suicide and nothing will stop them. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is plunging ahead with the Gaza Disengagement Plan, despite all the warning signs. And Israel’s longtime ally, the United States, seems to be encouraging them over the precipice. The recent announcement that US taxpayers will be sending $50 million to the “new and improved” Palestinian Authority was the final nail in the coffin.
But the truth is the much-heralded Disengagement Plan that is supposed to bring peace and harmony to the region is likely to have the opposite effect. The Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas (a Soviet disciple and an expert in Holocaust denial) has done nothing to curb terrorism or incitement in the media. After giving the initial appearance of reform, the PA and its terrorist affiliates simply resumed business as usual. Hence the widely publicized sermon on PA TV in which Sheik Ibrahim Mudeiris likened Jews to “a virus resembling AIDS” and called for Muslims to “finish off every Jew.” Then there have been the daily terrorist attacks on Israel, most of which have been thwarted by the IDF and kept quiet in the pro-Palestinian, mainstream media.
Let’s not forget the overwhelming success of Hamas during the last election in Gaza. Despite the resurgence of Shari’a law in the territories and the subsequent increase in Palestinian women murdered via honor killings, Palestinians just keep voting for the hardliners. Whether it be Fatah or Hamas that wins out in the end, Palestinian democracy is likely to result in yet another Islamic, terrorist state in the region.
Yet, this is the state that the Bush Administration thinks will rise to the occasion. But their eagerness to jump on the peace process bandwagon may have blinded them to the realities of the situation. In a move that disappointed many of his pro-Israel constituents, President Bush dropped his demands that the PA dismantle terrorist groups while meeting with Abbas in recent months. He didn’t directly question Fatah’s attempts to work with Hamas either. This, from the man who once said, “We will make no distinction between the terrorists and those who harbor them.”
Why the Bush Administration apparently gets it when it comes to fighting Islamic terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq, but can’t see the connection to Israel is baffling. Particularly since Palestinian terrorist groups have been entirely forthcoming in their hostility towards the United States. And murdering Americans is hardly the mark of an ally. Then there’s the fact that members of Al-Qaeda have been spotted canoodling with their Palestinian cohorts in preparation for the Disengagement.
Senate majority leader Bill Frist seems to have bought into the double standard as well, going so far as to suggest, in a recent op-ed, that the US double the amount of money being sent to the corrupt Palestinian Authority. Like other deluded souls, Frist seems to think that because of the “new leadership in Ramallah… the chance for peace [is] high.” He tries to explain away anti-American sentiment among the Palestinians by blaming US support for Israel. This belief is popular among Islamic terrorists and their apologists, a group that Bill Frist is coming dangerously close to emulating with his statements.
But ultimately, it’s the Sharon government that must bear the blame for this foolhardy venture. Despite all evidence to the contrary, they are determined to go ahead with the Disengagement Plan in the hopes that it will bring increased security to Israel. Instead, Palestinian terrorist groups have openly declared it a victory for the “resistance” and an impetus to continue their genocidal war against Israel. At this point, they’re debating whether or not to fire on Jews during the expulsion. The Disengagement Plan will leave Israel with yet another border to guard, only this time, it will be nice and close to major cities such as Tel Aviv and Ashkelon. The already tiny country will be that much smaller.
All hopes rest on the security barrier, which many predict will put a damper on encroaching terrorism. Indeed, it probably will, at least for a little while. The section that is already completed has demonstrated some defensive success. But the always-inventive Palestinians will simply come up with alternate methods of inflicting wounds on their enemies. The already noted increase in Kassam rocket attacks is the next front in their war to destroy Israel.
In terms of public support in Israel for the Disengagement Plan, unsurprisingly, it has emanated mostly from the Left. Always in favor of any action that involves Israeli capitulation, many have backed the plan, putting aside their other disagreements with Sharon. Those Israelis that oppose the Disengagement Plan have been demonized by the government and accused of “incitement” at every turn. Neither has been given the opportunity to vote on the plan, and even surveys are being suppressed for fear of exposing widespread opposition.
Even Druze Knesset Member Ayoob Kara has expressed dismay at Israel’s apparent death wish. Warning that, “The withdrawal is going to be terrible for Israeli security,” he is strongly opposed to the Disengagement Plan. If Kara, a fellow member of the Likud Party, can comprehend the folly of this move, why can’t Sharon?
Israel’s enemies among the Western Left have been unmoved by news of the Disengagement Plan. They continue on with their nonsensical calls for divestment from the “apartheid state” and their protests against Israel for daring to exist. A threatened academic boycott of two Israeli universities by Britain’s Association of University Teachers (AUT) was only called off at the last minute because of public outcry. Even the president of Al-Quds University, Sari Nusseibeh, publicly opposed the boycott, labeling th
e timing counter-productive. But the Left remains unswayed, pressing on with its memorized script of anti-Israel rhetoric, reality notwithstanding. These are the critics to whom Sharon gives credence with his Disengagement follies.
The last time Jews were forcibly removed from their homes it precipitated the Holocaust. But this time, instead of Nazis ousting Jews, other Jews will do the dirty work. Like some sort of sadistic punishment only anti-Semites could dream up, IDF soldiers are to expel Jewish men, women, and children to make way for Palestinian terrorists. Even the dead are not immune. Conjuring up images of Jewish grave desecration throughout history, Jewish graves will be uprooted as well. Jews determined to stay in “illegal outposts” have actually had their synagogues destroyed by IDF soldiers and their attempts to rebuild met with violence. Hitler would have been proud.
It was indeed the Third Reich that came up with the term “Judenrein” or “free of Jews”, and no one seems to be questioning the similar logic of the Disengagement Plan. After all, everyone knows that “settler” is just another euphemism for Jew. Since Arabs live in Israel, why could Jews not conceivably remain in the imagined future Palestinian state? It’s doubtful they’d want to live under such rule, but this is simply wrong on principle. Writer Ariel Natan Pasko was one of the first to pose this question and Israel Zwick later followed up with a parody on disengaging “Jewish settlements” from Florida. Jerusalem Post deputy managing editor Caroline Glick has also written extensively on the subject.
There is absolutely no reason that the misnamed “settlements” (the largest of which, Ariel, is a city with a population of 20,000) cannot remain intact, while Palestinians set up shop nearby. Just the way people living in pluralistic societies anywhere else in the world would do it. But, as always, Muslim bigotry towards Jews is accepted where with any other group the same behavior would be deemed inexcusable. At least the homes of the Jews will be destroyed, rather than simply handing them over to the triumphant terrorists. They have to demolish the homes for fear that Palestinians will do it themselves, under the watchful eyes of the international community. Yet another good sign for the new “peaceful” neighborhood.
So, how to explain Sharon’s apparent insanity? It’s the Oslo syndrome all over again. Then, too, Israel made sacrifices while the Palestinians made none. The corrupt, terrorist leader Yasser Arafat was treated as legitimate, just as Mahmoud Abbas is today. The world was enamored of the idea of peace in the Middle East and denied all evidence to the contrary. Just as they do today. Israel’s strongest ally, the United States, pushed for and brokered the deal. Where once it was Bill Clinton, today it’s George W. Bush.
The end result of the Oslo capitulation was increased bloodshed and the growth of Islamic terrorism in the region and beyond. And there’s absolutely no reason to believe that the Disengagement Plan will not result in the same thing. As the oft-cited George Santayana quote goes: Those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.
But not all Israelis are taking the Disengagement lying down. Protests, rallies, and civil disobedience have taken place in Israel since the plan was announced. Orange is the color this movement has adopted, and it can be seen on flags, hats and T-shirts around the country. Jews in America have also shown their support for this resistance, with college students going on strike and prominent Jewish figures speaking out. An anti-disengagement rally was held in New York City’s Central Park on June 5 and simultaneous rallies in Tel Aviv and Washington DC are planned for July 19. A group of American Baptist ministers are planning a July trip to Israel to show their solidarity with the soon-to-be-ousted Jews. But the clock is ticking and the countdown to disengagement has already begun.