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War On Gaza?

      As calls for all-out war on Gaza increase, it is important to set things straight. As I explained this week in an interview (on the Knesset channel of Israel TV), there is no reason for Israel to enter Gaza unless it intends to stay there, expel the hostile elements, declare Israeli sovereignty and build 100 Gush Katifs.

 

      It is unacceptable to send Israeli soldiers to almost certain death in the booby-trapped alleys of Jabalya for no real purpose. It is not an option to send them to fight, weighed down by a Christian ethical code that prefers their deaths to the deaths of hostile civilians. And worst of all, it is unthinkable to send them to give their lives to conquer the Gaza Strip; to take it away from an arch-terrorist from Hamas, and turn it over to a different arch-terrorist from Fatah who, after a short break, will thank us by renewing the Kassam fire on Israel.

 

      A war on Gaza now will suit Prime Minister Ehud Olmert well. After allowing the situation in the Negev to reach the boiling point, he will stage a war with wall-to-wall public and political support. The war will not solve the problem because it will not be fought with the ultimate objective in mind: to win and remain in Gaza. But there will be deaths and funerals, and these will create public pressure. Olmert will attempt to diffuse the pressure by destroying settlements and throwing their residents into the streets. Soldiers will be killed, settlements will be destroyed – and the Kassams and terror will steadily increase. But in the dust kicked up by all the turmoil, Olmert will have bought himself another two years in office.

 

      If Manhigut Yehudit says “no” to war on Gaza, then what exactly do we propose?

 

      We have proposed a bill in the Knesset that would mandate complete disengagement from Gaza. No, this is not the ideal option. The ideal option, as above, is to re-conquer Gaza, drive out all hostile elements and make it flourish with Jewish settlements. But as long as we do not have leadership that believes in our historic right to the entire Land of Israel, and as long as we do not have leadership that will initiate a war on Gaza to re-conquer and settle it, we must not endanger our soldiers for nothing.

 

      The next best thing we can do is demand complete disengagement from Gaza. We must not supply them with anything. No bread, no electricity, no fuel, no gas – and if it would be possible, no air, either. Any hostility from Gaza should be met with heavy artillery fire to force them to pull the missile launchers all the way into Gaza City and turn all the launching territory into a sure-death zone. The longer the range of the missiles, the farther the sure-death zone will have to extend.

 

      What if the world protests?

 

      In the 41 years that have passed since the miraculous Six-Day War, the State of Israel has done all in its power to convince the world that the Land of Israel belongs to its enemies. We have nobody to blame for that but ourselves. As long as Israel continues to justify the claims of its enemies, it is difficult to think about a return to national sanity. Complete disengagement from Gaza is the most that we can expect from Israel’s current leaders. If Israel is convinced that this action is just, the rest of the world will be convinced as well, and negative world opinion will dissipate.

 

      It is important to join the residents of Sderot in their protests. But our message must be clear: We demand complete disengagement from Gaza - not cynical sacrifice of more soldiers in a rerun of the recent Lebanon war.

 

      To learn more about Moshe Feiglin andManhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership), and their plan for Israel’s future – and to order Feiglin’s newest book, The War of Dreams- visit http://www.jewishisrael.org/.

About the Author: Moshe Feiglin is the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and a member of Israel's Security and Defense Committee. He heads the Manhigut Yehudit ("Jewish Leadership") faction of Israel's governing Likud party. He is the founder of Manhigut Yehudit and Zo Artzeinu and the author of two books: "Where There Are No Men" and "War of Dreams." Feiglin served in the IDF as an officer in Combat Engineering and is a veteran of the Lebanon War. He lives in Ginot Shomron with his family.


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