By Ryan Jones - Jerusalem Newswire - October 27, 2005
At first it was touted as a means to freeze the headlong rush to birth a Palestinian Arab state that would certainly endanger Israel's security and even existence.
When it became clear the West would never allow Israel's “disengagement” from Gaza and northern Samaria to serve such a purpose, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon promised Israelis a package of other long-sought benefits they would certainly reap by quitting those areas of their biblical homeland.
American support for the annexation of more strategically important parts of Judea and Samaria, a major decrease in “Palestinian” terror, a freer hand to war against those terrorists who did continue to attack, and the heading off of an internationally imposed solution were all placed on the table as rewards for surrendering parcels of land the Sharon government insisted were undesirable anyway.
A full month has passed since the last IDF soldier left Gaza and the area reverted to full Arab control.
And yet, those benefits have not even begun to be realized. In fact, the opposite of what Israelis were promised is happening.
Washington has not come out in support of Israel's perpetual retention of large settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria (which in America's view includes eastern Jerusalem), but has rather publicly criticized and condemned the construction of every new Jewish apartment and home in those areas.
Successful “Palestinian” terror attacks – including shootings, “suicide” bombings and artillery bombardments – are actually increasing for the first time in two years.
Security officials report that terrorist efforts to transfer personnel and weapons from Gaza to Judea and Samaria and perpetrate attacks from there are accelerating at a tremendous rate.
Israel's ability to combat this terrorist phenomenon with the kind of force needed to end it has not increased, even after unprecedented rocket barrages. Instead, Israel's hands are more tied than ever as a direct result of its withdrawal from Gaza and northern Samaria.
Washington insists that pullout started fresh momentum towards a final peace settlement, and will not countenance Israel jeopardizing the timetable by unleashing any kind of serious military action to defend its citizens.
Recent statements of understanding for Israel's right to defend itself have without fail been accompanied by demands that Israel consider the consequences of its actions and practice unheard of restraint.
As for international efforts to impose the outlines of a final peace upon Israel, the disengagement has anything but halted those.
That became apparent even as the last troops left Gaza, an action Israel insisted it was implementing unilaterally and on its own terms.
Just one month later, Israel has been bullied into accepting the international community's position on freedom of passage through Gaza's borders.
No Israeli will directly monitor the Gaza-Sinai border – the primary gateway for “Palestinian” terrorist arms – and Palestinian Arabs will begin traveling between Gaza and Judea even before adequately proving they will not use that freedom of movement to perpetrate additional acts of terrorist aggression.
And already there are among international power brokers voices of support for the PLO claim that Israel's gesture of peace is incomplete without an accompanying withdrawal from Judea and Samaria.
The Gaza retreat resulted in a wave of optimism that a final peace agreement and the birth of Palestine are just around the corner.
With the international community fully aware that the Arabs are not willing to compromise, and armed with new proof that Israel can in fact be made to surrender, guess who is going to have the other's terms imposed upon them for the sake of achieving that “peace”?
For those willing to see reality, none of this comes as a surprise.
The question now is will all of this serve as the wake up call Israel needs to finally realize it can never satisfy the Arab world or the international community but through its complete surrender and demise?
Or will Israelis continue to pay in blood for the shortsightedness and naïveté of their leaders?