Disengagement from Gaza: why?
When I was in Washington in April 2005, a full-page ad the Anti-Defamation League appeared in the Washington Jewish Week. It said: “Mr. Sharon, American Jews support your Disengagement Plan.” Why?
Disengagement = Jewish expulsion
Perhaps the basic reason is ignorance or disinformation. Let’s remember that a whopping 70% of Israelis opposed a Palestinian state in the 2003 elections. In 2005, however, they failed to see the connection between Disengagement and a Palestinian state – which Sharon advocated. So what’s going on here?
First of all, the very term Disengagement was a deceptive euphemism for expelling thousands of Jews from Gaza and Northern Samaria and turning this land over to Arab terrorists.
Second, AIPAC, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, characteristically apes the position of Israel’s Government. These assimilated Jews, headed the Conference of American Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, supported Sharon’s disengagement/deportation policy. Hence, it was only natural for [the then] President [George] Bush and the American Congress to back that policy [and do so to this day]. They are not going to be more Zionist than Sharon [or his successor, Benjamin Netanyahu].
American left-wing media
Also significant, the American media, like Israel’s, are dominated by left-wingers who are pro-Palestinian even though the latter is headed by Arab terrorists.
One can explain the American pro-disengagement attitude in terms of two basic factors. First, the Americans believed that most Israelis supported Disengagement. Since that allegedly represented the will of the majority, it was deemed democratic. Second, Americans harbored the image of Sharon as a great hero who would never pursue a policy dangerous to Israel. So while I was in America in April 2005, I had to explode two myths:
- the myth about Israeli democracy, and
- the myth that Sharon was a super-patriot.
A difficult task.
The cowardice started in Israel
The difficulty originates in Israel. On June 21, 2005, Caroline Glick, referring to Sharon, wrote a stunning article, “A coward for prime minister.”
Apparently, her article was prompted by a new book, Boomerang published in Hebrew two weeks earlier. The authors, left-wing commentators Raviv Drucker and Ofer Shelach, revealed why Sharon decided to withdraw from Gaza and Northern Samaria. “Their findings,” Glick says, “are devastating.” She writes:
Based on interviews with senior government and military officials, Drucker and Shelach report that Sharon’s decision in December 2003 to abandon his electoral platform, which opposed the unilateral transfer of land to the Palestinians, and [which] rejected out of hand the notion of expelling Israelis from their communities in the Gaza Strip or Judea and Samaria.
Glick went on to say that Sharon’s disengagement decision stemmed from considerations that had nothing to do with Israel’s national security interests.
In fact, Sharon’s [reason] for adopting the radical left-wing plan had been overwhelmingly rejected by the voters in the January 2003 elections, [and was motivated by] his desire to avoid indictment for his role in corruption scandals for which he and his sons Gilad and Omri were under a police investigation.
Ms. Glick obviously believed that this was the case if only because in June 2005, the heads of Israel’s security echelons, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya’alon, Maj. Gen. Aharon Ze`evi-Farkash, head of IDF Intelligence, and Avi Dichter, Director of the Shin Bet(General Security Service), testified against withdrawal before the Knesset defense committee. Moreover, ex-Deputy IDF Intelligence Chief, Maj. Gen.(res.) Yaakov Amidror, admitted that “The Israeli government has not succeeded in producing a single serious argument that can refute objections to disengagement and justify the grave step that it is taking.”
Abandoning lands encourages terrorists
Besides, common sense and 12 years of Oslo indicated that abandoning or retreating from any settlement rewards and encourages terrorists and gives them a larger base for military operations against Israel. It plays into their phased strategy to destroy Israel piecemeal…. So how can you expect Americans to understand what disengagement [from the land in question] is all about?
What facilitated that calamitous decision of 2005 was Israel’s system of multiparty cabinet government, which consists of five or more political parties having conflicting partisan interests. The leaders of these parties – suffice to mention Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu and Labor leader Ehud Barak – have diverse personal political ambitions. Their personal ambitions prompted them to vie with each other in advocating the “two state solution” to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. This they did to win electoral support, and without candidly admitting that a Palestinian state, given its Muslim population, would be a constant source of Islamic terrorism.
I therefore conclude that Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza was the result of the timidity as well as the deceit and egoistic motives of the nation’s political leaders. These frailties also work in the present government of Israel!◙