Saturday, January 3, 2009

Israel and Gaza

As Israel embarks on yet another incursion into Gaza to try to stop incessant rocket attacks from there into Israel, the futility of this exercise as a way of permanently stopping these attacks is evident to almost everyone. The policy change Israel decided on to give up direct control of Gaza has to be seen as an abject failure. Far from improving the chance for peace, this policy has enabled Gaza to become a permanent launching pad for attacks against Israel.

None of Israel's incursions, no matter how extensive, will change the underlying dynamic, which is the determination of hardline Islamic groups to wage endless war until they achieve Israel's destruction. By giving them a base in Gaza and the West Bank, Israel has acquired new borders, on the other side of which are permanent guerrilla training and operations centers. When Israel withdraws from these areas, the hardline groups will inevitably reconstitute and resume their attacks. For Israel, it is a no-win situation.

So what policy could work? If one accepts Israel's right to exist, the root of the problem is the education of Palestinian children and the propaganda aimed at adults to create a sense of victimhood and of hatred for Israel. Unless the information flow to Palestinian children and adults in these areas is transformed, no progress toward peace is possible without the destruction of Israel.

So the only policy which could possibly work is to re-occupy these areas and to concentrate on the education of children, and the suppression of hardline Islamic propaganda. As long as children are taught to become suicide bombers and adults are subjected to nonstop anti Israeli propaganda, there can be no peace. Under these circumstances, the destruction of Israel is just a matter of time.

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