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Lessons Of The Katyushas

      People have very short memories. Most Israelis do not recall the events that have led up to the rain of Katyushas and other missiles upon Israeli civilians these past two weeks.
 
      Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 to drive out the terrorists. It then continued to hold southern Lebanon as a buffer zone, to keep the terrorists away from the border, in alliance with the South Lebanon Army (SLA) militia, until the Israeli government under Ehud Barak ordered the area turned over to the Hizbullah in exchange fornothing.
 
      In the late 1990′s, some Israelis, led by the Labor Party, began to turn against the government as Israeli deaths continued to mount in the war of attrition in southern Lebanon between the IDF and the terrorists. Meanwhile, the Israeli Left had undergone a process of radicalization, in large part because of Lebanon.
 
      What began as mere disagreement by the Left over tactical issues in what had been regarded as an essentially just occupation of south Lebanon morphed into an outburst of openly anti-Israel extremism. Inevitably, the Labor Party joined the far left in demanding an unconditional capitulation by Israel in Lebanon.
 
      It was Labor prime minister Barak who in the summer of 2000 implemented the unilateral withdrawal of all Israeli troops from Lebanon. The withdrawing Israeli army abandoned the fighters of the South Lebanese Army and their families to the mercies of Hizbullah. Many SLA members were murdered.
 
      Barak’s withdrawal took place under fire, with Hizbullah and others shooting at the retreating Israeli troops to demonstrate their contempt and show the world that the cowardly Jews were being driven out.
 
      Barak’s capitulation was a parody of Dunkirk. But the Israeli chattering classes saw it as not only a great victory but as a precedent for solving all the problems of Gaza and West Bank.
 
      This writer, like many others, predicted for years that northern Israel would be attacked by masses of missiles and that Israel would be forced to invade and re-conquer south Lebanon, at a large cost in Israeli lives, to drive out the terrorists Barak had installed there.
 
      I also warned that when that happened, no southern Lebanese Christian or Muslim, remembering how Israel had betrayed the SLA, would believe any promises made by Israeli leaders. As a result, Israel would have trouble finding local allies and informants.
 
      It occurs to me that now would be as good a time as any to sum up everything that has been learned in the past few weeks about the Middle East conflict – that is, everything the Israeli government and chattering classes refused to learn during the past two decades.
 

      Here are 40 lessons from the Katyusha war on the Jews:

 

1.       Nice fences do not stop missiles, rockets, and mortars.

2.       Complete removal of Israeli forces and Jewish settlers from an area merely signals Israeli weakness and invites escalated Arab terror and aggression.

3.       Hizbullah and Hamas cannot be defeated with air strikes. There is no effective alternative to ground invasion and ongoing Israeli military control of the ground.

4.       Unless the Israeli military controls the ground on the other side of fences, those fences achieve nothing.

5.       Goodwill gestures by Israel increase terror.

6.       Goodwill gestures by Israel never produce moderation of Arab goals and demands, but rather the opposite.

7.       Terror is not caused by settlements but by the removal of settlements.

8.       Terror is not caused by Israeli military occupation but by the removal of Israeli military occupation.

9.       It is impossible for two sovereign entities to exist between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.

10.   No matter how many concessions Israel makes the world will always justify Arab terrorism because there will always be still one more capitulation Israel fails to make.

11.   No matter how nice Israel is to its Arab citizens and no matter how many affirmative action programs it implements, Israel will always be accused of being an “apartheid regime.”

12.    The Israeli far left is an openly anti-Semitic movement that seeks Israel’s destruction and automatically endorses the enemies of Israel in nearly all things.

13.   The Israeli Labor Party and its Kadima cousin may be more effective at fighting terror, once they decide to do so, than Likud. If it were a Likud government fighting Hizbullah, the Israeli Left would take to the streets in mass demonstrations against Israeli “imperialism and war crimes” and the Israeli media would declare that half a million protesters had turned out.

14.   The real enemy of Israel is not Arab fascism but Jewish leftism.

15.   Much of the world has no qualms seeing Jewish civilians murdered by terrorists.

16.    The Israeli Left will oppose every conceivable act of Israeli self-defense.

17.   Israeli niceness and flexibility fan anti-Semitism.

18.   Arab terrorists do not morph into statesmen.

19.   Israel bashers do not care about dead Arab civilians, other than as a useful tool with which to bludgeon Israel.

20.   Many on the worldwide Left would not raise an eyebrow if Israeli Jews were shipped off to concentration camps in cattle cars – except perhaps to demand improved rail service.

21.   The vast majority of Israeli Arabs and nearly all Israeli Arab politicians support terrorism and wish to see Israel destroyed.

22.   There are hundreds of Jewish professors in Israel who serve as an academic Fifth Column and who collaborate with the enemies of their country.

23.   The Arabs will not accept an independent Israel within any set of borders, no matter how small. Hence reducing Israel’s territory does nothing but signal weakness and destructibility.

24.   The only country on earth expected to respond to the mass murder of its civilians by turning of the other cheek is Israel. The only country on earth that has spent years trying to defeat aggression and terrorism by turning the other cheek is Israel.

25.   No matter how Israel responds to aggression and terrorism, it will always be seen in many quarters as a “disproportionate” response. The only “proportionate” response is complete capitulation.

26.   Those who claim that anti-Zionism is different and distinct from anti-Semitism tend, on close inspection, to be anti-Semites themselves.

27.   The only people on earth whom the Left believes should be denied the right to self-determination and self-defense are the Jews.

28.   “Palestinians” are not a nation in any true sense of the term and never were. They are simply Arabs who happened to migrate to Western Palestine. They have no “right” to statehood.

29.   Israeli leftists, rather than learn from the failures of their policies and “ideas,” complain that their policies are not applied thoroughly enough.

30.    The moral and legal responsibility for every single Arab civilian killed or injured in the Middle East conflict rests squarely on the shoulders of the Arab terrorists.

31.   There is no moral or legal reason for Israel to refrain from attacking terrorists and murderers when they hide among civilians.

32.   Too many of the “anarchists” and others who protest against Israel’s security wall want the wall removed because they want terrorists to murder Jewish civilians.

33.   Palestinians are the Sudeten Germans of the Middle East.

34.   There are no non-military solutions to the problem of terrorism.

35.   One can only make warwith one’s enemies. One can only make peace with one’s defeated enemies.

36.   There are no significant differences between the agenda of the PLO and the agenda of Hamas and Hizbullah.

37.   One cannot make peace by pretending that war does not exist.

38.   One cannot buy off anti-Semites and Islamofascists with trade concessions and subsidies.

39.   The only way to stop terrorism is to kill terrorists.

40.   No terrorist has ever murdered anyone after he was executed.

 

 

      Steven Plaut, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, is a professor at the University of Haifa. His book “The Scout” is available at www.Amazon.com. He can be contacted at stevenplaut@yahoo.com.

About the Author: Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.


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