Smoke rises after an Israeli strike in the northern Gaza Strip Nov. 15, 2012. (photo by REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

Israel Must Disengage From Gaza

Author: Maariv (Israel) Posted November 15, 2012

So long as our leaders continue to blabber and adopt threatening tones, reality will not change. They must come to the masses and say publicly: We must sever our ties to Gaza completely

SummaryPrint Before the launch of Operation Pillar of Cloud, Chelo Rosenberg argued that since Gaza did not constitute an existential threat to Israel, the state should seek a political solution for total disengagement from Gaza.
Author Chelo Rosenberg Posted November 15, 2012
Translator(s)Sandy Bloom

The lousy, empty-of-all-real-meaning rhetoric used by the state's captains is only a cover for weakness, failure and unwillingness to openly admit: Yes, there is a solution regarding Gaza. The country's leaders know what needs to be done, but flinch at telling it clearly to the public: Israel must sever itself totally from Gaza and allow the Palestinians to conduct their lives without Israeli involvement. The disengagement that was carried out is like being "a little bit pregnant": since there is no such thing as being "a little bit pregnant," thus the disengagement is equally worthless.

Anyone who makes the effort to examine the statements of the leaders over the last decade, will reveal empty words such as, "We will do everything to return the security to our residents of the South," "Hamas will pay for this," and the like. Nothing substantial beyond that. Ever since the Cast Lead operation at the beginning of 2009, the Palestinians have been flagrantly violating the agreements. They shoot at the communities in the South with improvised pipe-bombs full of explosives, while Israelis invest a fortune to protect themselves. This is simply stupidity and folly.

The deterrence achieved by Cast Lead has been largely eroded. All the threats used by Israel's leaders are empty. The terrorist leaders in Gaza laugh at Israel's response. The Prime Minister stands in front of the cameras and promises the moon, while residents of the South hide in the bowels of the earth or in protected rooms. We pay an enormous price in morale. The economic price is just as dear. It is not clear why the Prime Minister and Defense Minister repeat their words like mantras, and primitive pipe-bombs continue to fall on the heads of Israeli citizens. Who prevented them [i.e., the leaders] during the last four years, to do whatever they wanted to stop this insanity?

Pay attention to the following statements that were published, accompanied by numerical data, on the official site of the General Security Service a year after the Cast Lead operation. "The number of terrorist acts originating in the [Gaza] Strip has significantly declined. This is especially prominent in the steeply reduced number of high-trajectory launching attacks (rockets and mortar shells) and is expressed in the decrease in rocket fire towards Israel (and toward Israeli targets ... ) This is a drop of hundreds of percentages in the scope of Gaza-based high-trajectory launching attacks … and a drop in the scope of Gaza-based terror after Cast Lead."

So who is responsible for the serious erosion in deterrence, if not Israel's leaders? So long as they [limit themselves merely to] blabbering and speaking in threatening tones, reality will not change. Instead, they must come before the public and say publicly: We must completely disengage from Gaza. There is no need to tend to the welfare of the lives of the Gaza residents. We must allow them to use a naval port, an airport and whatever they want. The argument that they will arm themselves to the teeth and threaten Israel's existence is a stupid argument. A Gaza with tanks, planes and artillery is a lot more vulnerable than it is now.

Gaza does not constitute an existential threat for Israel. The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] is capable of transforming Gaza to a wasteland in two days, if only Israel's leaders weren't afraid of their own shadows. It is very likely that in order to attain this solution, we need a military operation to rehabilitate our deterrence. On the other hand, anyone who thinks that only a military operation is needed against Hamas — to liquidate them, destroy them, God only knows what — errs and misleads others. The solution must come in the form of a political arrangement with guarantees provided by the international community, headed by the United States. The general outline is very clear. For that, we need real leaders.

Read More: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2012/11/no-such-thing-as-a-little-pregna.html

Published Tel Aviv, Israel Established 1948
Language Hebrew Frequency daily

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