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Monday, December 29, 2008

Israel's sorry history in Gaza

Israel has a sorry history in Gaza that derives from its unwillingness to take decisive action regarding the strip. Michael Oren recounts that history.
Back in 1949, at the end of Israel's War of Independence, Israeli forces surrounded Gaza in an attempt to conquer it and annex it to the nascent Jewish State. Frustrated in that gambit, Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion secretly sought to purchase Gaza from the Egyptians in the early 1950s, and then, during the 1956 Suez Crisis, Israel briefly occupied the Strip. Israeli soldiers in 1967 received unequivocal orders not to enter Gaza, but they did so anyway, and remained there for the next 20 years until Prime Minster Menachem Begin tried to convince Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to take control of Gaza--fruitlessly. Israel proceeded to build settlements in the Strip, but not enough to stake a firm territorial claim. It installed a PLO administration there, but later disavowed it as corrupt and terror-ridden. It initially coddled and finally combated Hamas. Finally, in 2005, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, former champion of the Gaza settlements, uprooted all 21 of them and their 8,100 inhabitants. Once renowned for his brutal suppression of Gaza terrorists, Sharon also ignored the 1,000 Qassam rockets that flew on the heels of Israel's withdrawal. Hamas was consequently empowered and eventually took over the Strip, creating the Hobbesian conditions that Israel faces today.
Okay, there are a couple of inaccuracies there. There were settlements Jewish cities and towns in Gaza before Camp David. And the 'peace process' with Egypt started with Sadat's visit to Jerusalem in 1977 and ended with Israel's evacuation of Sinai in 1982. Were the 1967 orders unequivocal? I don't know. Oren really is the expert on the 1967 war.

But if you look at the map above, you see that based on geography, Gaza belongs to Israel. And historically was a center of Jewish life. What's really needed here is a decisive policy with respect to Gaza. It's long overdue.


At 6:20 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Its part of the Land Of Israel. Its best known for Samson's exploits with the Philistines but David also sojourned there while fleeing from King Saul. The truth is Gaza is part and parcel of Jewish history. Ignoring it in a misguided pursuit of political correctness has resulted in disastrous consequences. If there's one lesson Israel needs to learn is that amputating a part of the Land Of Israel to save the rest never works. G-d won't allow it.

At 4:33 AM, Blogger Karl_in_Phoenix said...

Israel should announce to the people of the Gaza Strip that in 30 days, they will cut off the electrical power and water to that area. This action is done to get the enhabitants to leave.

Israel then takes control of the land and bulldozes everything and then makes a large park out of it. Sort of a nice free-fire zone for Israel's protection.

That is what I think.

Army Airborne Ranger &
American Nationalist


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