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August 9, 2005

Is It A Case Of "Today Gaza, Tomorrow Jerusalem?: Are Critics Of Israel Correct?

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

Begining August 15, Israel begins the forced eviction of Israelis in Gaza in order to turn their land over to the Palestinians. In doing so, the Israeli government begins a process that can only result in a majority of the Palestinians believing that they have won the land through terrorism and violence, acts that will continue until such time that Palestinian terrorism is destroyed, or the Israelis are driven into the sea. But don't listen to me, listen instead to someone with a better ear than mine:

Daniel Pipes has an excellent piece in the New York Sun, and the Middle East Forum, entitled "Are Israel's critics correct?" In it he poses the question, "Does the "occupation" of the West Bank and Gaza cause the Palestinian Arabs' anti-Semitism, their suicide factories, and their terrorism? And is it true these horrors will end only when Israeli civilians and troops leave the territories?"

According to Pipes, "the answer is coming soon. Starting August 15, the Israeli government will evict about 8,000 Israelis from Gaza and turn their land over to the Palestinian Authority. In addition to being a unique event in modern history (no other democracy has forcibly uprooted thousands of its own citizens of one religion from their lawful homes), it also offers a rare, live, social-science experiment."

(...) We stand at an interpretive divide. If Israel's critics are right, the Gaza withdrawal will improve Palestinian attitudes toward Israel, leading to an end of incitement and a steep drop in attempted violence, followed by a renewal of negotiations and a full settlement. Logic requires, after all, that if "occupation" is the problem, ending it, even partially, will lead to a solution.

(...) But I forecast a very different outcome. Given that about 80% of Palestinian Arabs continue to reject Israel's very existence, signs of Israeli weakness, such as the forthcoming Gaza withdrawal, will instead inspire heightened Palestinian irredentism. Absorbing their new gift without gratitude, Palestinian Arabs will focus on those territories Israelis have not evacuated. (This is what happened after Israeli forces fled Lebanon.) The retreat will inspire not comity but a new rejectionist exhilaration, a greater frenzy of anti-Zionist anger, and a surge in anti-Israel violence.

Continue reading about where Pipes predicts these events will lead, and how they will "prove Israel's critics totally wrong," the critics will learn no lessons, and untroubled by facts, the Palestinians will demand further Israeli withdrawals - and "Israel's one-car crash is dismally preparing the way for more disasters."

Posted by Hyscience at August 9, 2005 9:57 PM

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