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January 26, 2015 / 6 Shevat, 5775
 
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Five Points on ‘The Situation’

Hard to admit, but 20 years of Israeli blindness has contributed to the current situation.
Gaza after being hit by the IDF. If Israel hasn't knocked out Hamas by now, why should this time be any different?

Gaza after being hit by the IDF. If Israel hasn't knocked out Hamas by now, why should this time be any different?
Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90

As Alex Fishman, military correspondent for Yedioth Aharonoth, wrote Sunday, knocking Hamas out of Gaza could cause a vacuum there, one that could be filled with Islamic radicals that would make Israel long for the good old days of Hamas.ISIS is just one example.

IV. If Avigdor Liberman makes the leap from foreign minister to prime minister at the next election, Israel will experience the largest round of international condemnation since Operation Cast Lead in 2008. Washington will mumble its usual line about “expecting the elected leaders to show commitment to the peace process” but will privately – or not so privately – shun Liberman. So, too, the Arab world, which will use the election of the “extreme” Liberman as evidence of the “Nazi” nature of Israeli society, and Israeli leftists will moan that the recent election of right-wing extremists in Europe has hit Israel as well.

As “proof,” they will quote Liberman’s suggestions to re-draw the Israel-Palestinian border as part of a final peace deal that would re-apportion a large majority of the Palestinian Arabs in the Land of Israel as citizens of the Palestinian state (his plan does not call for uprooting anybody from their homes, with the exception of some Jews. Presumably, the latter point is “okay”). They will cite election success to Israel’s “racism” and “fascist” nature.

On that day, the refutation to those libels will be nothing more than photographs from this week’s riots in Omer, Nazareth, Tamra and other Arab-majority towns around the country.

Ultimately, Yisrael Beteinu will campaign on one essential point: Israeli citizenship comes with rights and responsibilities. Arab citizens of this country should feel free to forego the former if they are unwilling to exercise the latter. But Liberman will argue strongly that the former will be unavailable without a strong commitment to the latter.

V. In June, 2000, following Israel’s pullout from the south Lebanon security zone, I predicted that Israel would eventually pull its civilians and military forces out of the Gaza Strip. I feared two things: One, that Israel was losing the mettle to complete the dirty task of eliminating an enemy and demanding unconditional surrender.

Second, even at that early stage, I worried that Israel had ignored our enemies drive to build offensive weapons arsenals for so long that the Home Front cost of such an operation would make a drive towards absolute victory nary impossible.

But it is my last point from that time that bears repeating today: I predicted that Israel would eventually leave the Gaza Strip, but also that Palestinians would eventually force Israel to return. The fact of an un-occupied Gaza is a disaster for Palestinians, for it requires them to take responsibility for building a civil society, an economy, etc.

Frightening words that bear repeating today.

 

About the Author: Meir is a news writer for JewishPress.com - and he loves his job.


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