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December 29, 2008

Reassessing Sharon's 2005 Gaza Pullout

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives
I agree with Max Boot - it was a mistake to eliminate the entire Israel Defense Force presence in Gaza. Without Israeli patrols on the ground, as there still are in the West Bank, it has proved impossible to keep the Gaza Strip from being Hamastan.

Netanyahu was correct back in 2006 when he said at the time that Hamastan had been established, the step-child of Iran and the Taliban. And it's in firing range of Israel's airport, highways and cities. The writing was on the wall and the policy of giving land for free gave a prize to terror and a winning card for Hamas.

As we're reminded in this National Post Editorial:
When Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, the Jewish state gave the local Palestinians political autonomy for the first time since the pre-Roman era. The hope was that the Palestinians would use their newfound freedom to build a free and prosperous state -- one that would live in peace, if not friendship, with its Jewish neighbour.

That didn't happen. Hamas took over Gaza and renounced all previous Palestinian-Israeli agreements, reiterating its rejection of the Jewish state's right to exist. Rather than build up local infrastructure and a consumer economy, Hamas forged ties with Iran and dug weapons-smuggling tunnels into Egypt. A variety of groups -- including Hamas itself -- began raining missiles on Israel. Predictably, Israel did what it could to stanch this flow of weaponry, even as it ensured that a baseline of humanitarian supplies made it into Gaza.

Effectively, Hamas turned Gaza into one giant launching pad for jihad, the welfare of the local Palestinian population be damned. (more).
In the Middle East, unilateral action is always considered a weakness, and the current "war" in Gaza must not only end Hamas' violence against Israel, but also re-establish Israel's strength as a deterrence against its neighbors in the region that wish its destruction.

Posted by Hyscience at December 29, 2008 12:14 PM

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