Hand wringing and soul searchingIt should be clear to anyone who is even the slightest bit objective that last night's IDF invasion of Gaza just ten months after Israel expelled all its Jews and removed the IDF shows the complete and utter failure of the Sharon-Olmert 'unilateralism.' It should be clear now to those to whom it was not clear before that the revenants who were in Gaza were there to provide a buffer against 'Palestinian' attacks and that the IDF was there not only to protect the revenants but also to protect the State of Israel's southern flank. It should be clear that the only thing that Israel succeeded in doing by withdrawing from Gaza was to move the front line forward so that the 'Palestinians' can attack deeper into Israel than before. While the operation is being phrased in terms of being "designed to gain 'bargaining chips' by taking control of open areas, such as the area near Rafah and later the northern Gaza Strip," to be traded for Gilad Shalit, it should be clear that its effect is to push the front lines back so that the 'Palestinians' will find Kassam fire a bit harder. In other words, it's intended to give Israel a buffer zone. And since unfortunately, Shalit is likely dead by now, I doubt that the IDF will forfeit those buffer zones in return for his body.
Caroline Glick warned us yesterday that Olmert did not want the IDF to invade Gaza, because it would be an admission that his policy is a failure. This is a part of her article that I did not quote yesterday (I did tell you all to read the whole thing):
The bombardment of the Western Negev that holds the population and the economy of southern Israel hostage to the whims of jihadist cells with rocket launchers has shown up another major myth that forms the basis of Olmert's world view. Olmert and his associates claim that the IDF deployment in Gaza was wasteful because all those forces were being used just to defend those annoying, fanatical settlers in Gush Katif and northern Gaza. But as the bombardment and the IDF's inability to stop the bombardment from outside Gaza shows, the IDF was not in Gaza to protect the Israelis who lived there. The IDF was in Gaza to protect Israel.
Any major IDF offensive in Gaza would constitute an admission of this truth. Yet since the government's only policy is to reenact last summer's retreat in Judea and Samaria, it cannot acknowledge this truth. It needs the public to believe that the safety of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem can be guaranteed by having IDF forces sitting in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. It needs the public to believe that settlers are the cause of their misfortunes and not the jihadists who are waging war against our country.
That is, they need the public to believe that empowering terrorists doesn't empower terrorists.
This morning, we are hearing two sets of reactions from those who brought the disaster of disengagement on us. The true believers of the left are wringing their hands in frustration at the 'Palestinians' insistence on never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity. They realize that once again, it is going to become more difficult to give the country away. Those who followed Ariel Sharon because they believed in his brilliance are angry and disillusioned. I've called that soul searching. But it's a tactical soul searching. They haven't faced reality yet either.
In the "hand wringing" category, we have Haim Ramon. I have to be honest up front: Haim Ramon is one of my least favorite Israeli politicians. This goes back to an infamous Nightline appearance in November 1995 (in the aftermath of the Rabin assassination), in which he said the following regarding those who opposed the Oslo Accords:
"Maybe we can reach a consensus on some issues. But at the end of the dialogue, if we will not reach an agreement, we must agree on the one most important principle -- that the majority will decide, a democratic majority, and everybody, everybody, will respect it. And that those that are not going to respect it, from now on, will be crushed."I don't know whether Ramon's understanding of minority rights in a democracy has improved since 1995. Somehow, I doubt it has. But since then, I have regarded Ramon as a fascist.
This morning's JPost reports that last night, as the IDF was gearing up to invade Gaza, Ramon said the following:
Justice Minister Haim Ramon said on Tuesday night that he doesn't see any chance of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority leading anywhere and therefore the government's Realignment Plan is a foregone conclusion.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, in his round of diplomatic meetings in the US, Egypt, Britain and France, promised leaders that he would seriously pursue negotiations with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) before embarking upon realignment.
Ramon's speech at Tel Aviv University was the first open admission by a senior government minister that these negotiations are basically pointless and that Israel would only be undertaking them to placate the international community.
Can you hear the hand wringing? Can you hear the frustration? No, no, no! We're going to give Judea and Samaria to the 'Palestinians' no matter what!
Failure to first agree on a blueprint for Israel's vital interests, and then to carry out orderly staffwork, said the president, had led to "three big mistakes" in the past 13 years.
"We didn't get anything in return for the Oslo accords," he said, stressing that he was not saying he opposed the accords per se. Similarly, with the Road Map, "the Knesset and government declared that we support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. That is a major, historic concession and we didn't get anything for it. And I'm not opposed to the road map."
Finally, as regards last summer's disengagement, which again he stressed he did not oppose in principle, "here too, there was a big mistake. We took the army out of Gaza, we evacuated 25 Jewish settlements and we got nothing in return."
"If there had been orderly staff work, if we'd had this map of vital interests, those three moves - Oslo, support for a Palestinian state and the pullout from Gaza - could have given us much closer relations with the Palestinians, with less hostility, less enmity, more empathy, more understanding, and perhaps even brought us nearer to a peace agreement."
Asked what specifically Israel might have obtained, Katsav replied: "We might have reached agreements on settlement blocs, we might have reached understanding on the 'right of return,' perhaps understanding on Jerusalem, although I'm less sure of this possibility... And these three issues are the ones today preventing progress."
Soul searching? Maybe. But Katzav is still living with a delusion: the delusion that one day the 'Palestinians' and the other Arabs will willingly accept the permanent existence of a Jewish state in their midst. It's not going to happen. Moshe, wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe some other Israelis will follow you.
As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.
Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.