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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Groupthink and the Israeli Elections

Where is David Hornik, and why do I only find his articles in FrontPage Magazine.com and not in the Israeli press?

In this article, Hornik shows solidly that the continuation of Ariel Sharon's legacy is not the unilateral expulsion of Jews from Judea and Samaria, as Ehud Olmert and the Kadima Achora want to do. Rather, Sharon said that he would not make any other unilateral moves after Gaza. And, Sharon would not have given the 'Palestinians' anywhere near the amount of land in Judea and Samaria - even as part of a final settlement - that Olmert proposes to give them.

Hornik then goes on to set the record straight about the results of the disengagement expulsion of the Jews from Gaza:

Indeed, the argument against unilateralism is not hard to make. It does not rely on hypotheses and projections, because there is a test case before our eyes. Before the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, opponents maintained that:

-There was no substitute for an Israeli armed presence and arrangements involving other actors, such as Palestinians and Egyptians, would fail.

-As a result, weapons and terrorists would flow freely into the Strip from Sinai at unprecedented magnitudes.

-Gaza would be infiltrated by Al Qaeda and offer inviting terrain for the worldwide jihadi movement.

-Surrounding Israeli communities would come under constant artillery barrage and power plants in nearby Ashkelon would be targeted.

-The spectacle of Israeli retreat under fire would prompt redoubled efforts to build a terrorist artillery infrastructure in the West Bank while strengthening the most radical tendencies among the Palestinians.

Correct, correct, correct, correct, correct.

With this spectacle before us, the support among the Israeli public—and it is sizable, though probably less than half—for a repeat performance in the West Bank would better be dubbed blindness and bewilderment than pragmatism and moderation. The fact that voter turnout was its lowest ever, many Israelis not coming to the polls at all, reinforces the fact that many Israelis are tired and think it makes no difference what Israel does since it will be forced into concessions in any case. This is an unhealthy and dangerous state of mind that should be discouraged, not praised as a form of wisdom.

To set the record straight: going by his repeated words, Ariel Sharon did not favor further disengagement; Israelis elected only a slim majority of centrist and dovish parties containing many members who are at least somewhat hawkish and/or oppose unilateralism; any rational, empirical assessment of Israel’s recent venture at unilateralism would conclude that it was a costly blunder and extending it to the strategic heartland of the West Bank is suicidal madness.

Read the whole thing.


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