What to do about Gaza

Finally, someone in Israel speaks realistically about Gaza. Writing in the Jerusalem Post Gilad Sharon (son of Ariel Sharon) says that instead of just punishing Gaza and then leaving, allowing the Hamas rocket fire into Israel to continue, as happened with Operation Cast Lead several years ago, the IDF must win a decisive victory, meaning that they must either make Gaza unlivable, or re-occupy it.

I will repeat what I have said before: at any other time in human history, if a country had faced what the Israelis face with the Palestinians, namely having a population of violent fanatics living within the borders of that country who were relentlessly seeking its destruction, that country would long ago have either expelled them all or killed them all, and the world would have accepted it as a just and necessary act of self-defense. But because of modern liberalism, which prohibits decisive victory in war as an act of inequality (a belief system shared by the Israelis themselves), and because of Muslim oil power, and because of world-wide anti-Israelism, that obvious and necessary step cannot be taken.

- end of initial entry -

Richard K. writes:

Of course, you’re correct, but you do not blame the Jews enough. As a Jew, I think I can say that (OK, I would say it anyway). Part of the problem is that they (not me) are, for the most part, leftists, liberals, socialists (just like in the U.S.), and therefore cannot bring themselves to do what any sane country would do: destroy the enemies who are raining rockets on them every day, and have repeatedly verbalized their intent to kill them all and push them into the sea. Proportional response is nonsense. People who attack after stating their intention to destroy you must themselves be destroyed.

LA replies:

Of course.

Henry McCulloch writes:

Gilad Sharon states Israel’s alternatives in Gaza starkly, but he should have been starker still. As long as Gaza and the West Bank are in Moslem hands, they will be assembly areas and launch points for attacks on Israel. Nothing short of Israel’s extermination will satisfy Moslem desires for the Levant, so it is self-destructive to think a peaceful Moslem Arab state in the West Bank and Gaza alongside—in fact intermingled with—Israel can exist. Thanks to the provocations Hamas and Hezbollah, and through them their Iranian and Syrian masters, constantly inflict on Israel, the only safe course for Israel is peace through strength—beginning with a full reoccupation of Israel within the Mandate borders that existed before Israel declared independence in 1948. That is the territory Israel currently controls plus all of the Gaza Strip and all of the West Bank. That land entirely should be the State of Israel, with its eastern border at the Jordan River. Arabs living within Israel who are hostile to this dispensation, as most assuredly would be, should be relocated at Israeli expense to the land that already is their country: Jordan. I’m not in Israel, so I write from the cheap seats, but I see no other settlement that can provide long-term security. And even those more rational and defensible borders will not end the need for capable. rapidly deployable Israel Defense Forces backed by a nuclear deterrent.

The wild card is the Golan Heights, which were legitimately part of Syria before Israel occupied them in the Six Day War. As the Golan Heights physically dominate Galilee, it is hard to see how the Israelis could safely cede control of them to Syria. Syria’s current situation only heightens the uncertainty.

On 18 March 2009 you posted “The internal paralysis of a leftist country surrounded by deadly enemies”. Two comments there are pertinent today.

Howard Sutherland wrote:

Sadly, Israel’s Labor government of the day set Israel up for all of this misery by failing to consolidate the Israel Defence Force’s victory in the Six-Day War of June 5-10, 1967 (which, this fighter pilot notes, the Israel Air Force kicked off with some of the most effective airstrikes ever). The Israelis should have declared then that the parts of old Mandate Palestine west of the Jordan River the IDF had just conquered—Judea, Samaria and Gaza—were non-negotiable parts of the State of Israel and that Israel would cede no territory west of the Jordan. There was bargaining leverage available in the form of the Golan Heights, seized from Syria, and the Sinai, seized from Egypt, that should have precluded surrenders of actual Israeli territory. Instead the Israelis immediately made a gross error that dramatically undercut the strength of the Jewish claim to the entire land of Israel (“from Dan even unto Beersheba,” as the Bible has it). Instead of establishing firm Jewish control over Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Israelis allowed the Moslem Waqf to continue in its role of caretaker of the Temple Mount (which, it is true, is the site of two significant mosques), and allowed the Waqf to continue restricting Jewish access to the site. What does it say about a people’s self-confidence and belief in the righteousness of its cause that, in the immediate aftermath of an historic and overwhelming victory over its unappeasable enemy, that people’s government allowed the same unappeasable enemy to remain in such a position? Liberalism trumped sanity, in the form of believing that being nice to the Moslems and allowing them to retain such a symbolic foothold in the very heart of Israel, would appease their fury at the mere existence of a Jewish Israel. Too bad those Israeli politicians hadn’t read the Koran and perused the hadiths—if they had they might have known better. Too bad our politicians won’t look at them either.

In June 1967, responding to a pan-Arab (and Moslem) threat, the Israelis created an historic opportunity to secure Israel. Unfortunately, the Israeli government squandered it. Israelis have been paying for that failure ever since.

A. Zarkov reinforced the point:

Israel missed an opportunity after the June 1967 war to increase its security by transferring the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza into Jordan. Let’s recall that Jordan attacked Israel on June 5, 1967, bombing West Jerusalem, Tel Aviv suburbs and targets in Galilee. At the start of the war with Egypt, Israel encouraged Jordan to remain neutral, but King Hussein feared a backlash from the Arab world. Moreover, Nasser lied to Hussein, telling him that Egypt had destroyed the Israeli Air Force, and Hussein reluctantly put his army under Egyptian control. After Israel defeated Jordan, the Jordanians and the West Bank Palestinians were terrified of what Israel might do to them.

They knew what they had planned for Israel—extermination. Why did Israel do nothing? Why didn’t it expel the Arabs from Gaza, Judea, and Samaria, giving themselves an Arab-free buffer zone of security?

Two theories. Theory 1: The U.S. government, being compromised by Arab money, forced Israel to do nothing. Theory 2: Being a left-liberal state, Israel simply couldn’t muster the will to do what they needed to do to survive. Already I can hear the liberals gasp: “That’s ethnic cleansing.” You bet it is. But the U.S. and its Allies engaged in ethnic cleaning on a grand scale right after WWII, about the same time the modern state of Israel came into being. Western liberals seem have have a convenient amnesia about what we did to ethnic Germans. The next time you hear someone talk about the “right of return” for Palestinian Arabs, and the restoration of the land and property the Jews “stole” from them, ask them about the right of return for ethnic Germans and the restoration of the property taken from them. Again and again the world seems to have two standards, one for Israel, and another for everyone else.

[end of Zarkov comment.]

Israelis must decide whether they truly wish to survive as a Jewish nation. If they so decide, they must take control of the entire Land of Israel and secure it. There is no long-term alternative, other than extermination.

LA replies:

For newer readers who may not be familiar with it, here again is Robert Locke’s ground-breaking 2003 article at Vdare on how the Israelis could remove the Palestinians from west of the Jordan.

Ed H. writes:

Gaza has no economy, no sustainable existence. It is a completely artificial place, propped up by 300 daily truckloads of charity food and fuel coming in largely from Israel. Currently Gaza exists as a civilian shield for Hamas, as well as a set of terrorized civilians to be used in Hamas/UN/Arab propaganda photos. It is becoming more and more like Stalingrad, buildings that are nothing but ammo dumps and firing positions. This process is now irreversible and is spiraling down into a cause for very real regional war. Why doesn’t Israel treat Gaza as such and begin the systematic demolition of what remains of this hell hole? Use the IDF to open a corridor into Egypt through Rafah and get the population to exit in that direction. They are now Egypt’s problem. Let them join their Muslim brothers. The empty buildings could then be flattened and turned into farmland and a militarized border with Egypt established. Palestinians would be moved 200 miles to the west. All that would exist would be a line in the sand and a huge southern buffer zone. No bloodshed need be involved. Just a cleaning up of urban blight.This worked beautifully in Jenin, which the “international community” screamed about and then forgot a month after it was bulldozed.

Look at these buildings. It’s not even a city anymore.

LA replies:

That’s right! What did that used to be called in U.S. cities? Urban redevelopment? Slum clearance? An area would simply be flattened and all the people moved elsewhere.

David P. writes:

The real tragedy is that Israel has lost the opportunity to acquire strategic defensive land.

If in the eighties Israel had openly announced that terrorism against Israel would lead not just to retaliation, but the permanent non-negotiable incorporation of parts of Judea and Samaria into Israel, it would have stopped the jihad immediately. The jihadis or Hamas would also have discouraged their Marxist allies to stop provoking Israel, for that would lead to loss of territory.

Such a policy would have earned Israel not just respect, but strategic as well as historic land, that should be in historic Israel. It would make clear to America and Europe, that Israel was not a pushover, its strategic interests traded to the Arabs by the West for their own interests, but had to be treated with respect.

Frankly, Israel’s present dire predicament lies not with Hamas or the Lefty Westerners, but with its past leaders, and those who elected them.

Its not too late to start.

LA replies:

As I’ve said before, to understand Israel, imagine that Jewish Upper West Siders had their own land which was surrounded by their mortal enemies. The way those Upper West Siders would have behaved, is more or less the way Israel has behaved.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 19, 2012 08:22 AM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):