Sunday, May 29, 2011

On Changing the Dynamics of the Conflict

Aluf Benn at Haaretz comments on the Obama-Netanyahu spectacle:

Obama believes Israel will have trouble surviving if it keeps holding on to the territories, expanding settlements and suppressing the Palestinians. Ultimately, Israel will find itself facing a Palestinian majority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, weapons that can crack its defensive shields and the harsh hatred of the Arab masses. That threatening combination will vanquish the Jewish state.
That is hard talk. Obama reiterated this scenario in his two speeches - at the State Department last Thursday and at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference this past Sunday. No other U.S. president has expressed more concern for Israel's future. Get out of the territories and you will gain life, Obama is saying.
Netanyahu sees this as nonsense; he believes Obama does not understand the Middle East. The prime minister is convinced Israel will be destroyed if it withdraws from the territories. He believes his mission is to face the international pressure and foil the plot to remove the Israel Defense Forces and the settlers from the West Bank and replace them with a Palestinian state.
The Arab revolutions have only deepened the dispute between Netanyahu and Obama. The demonstrators in Egypt, Yemen and Syria remind Obama of the American civil rights movement. He believes history is on their side, that the Middle East masses will smash the tyrannies and win political power and civil rights. America will set an example for them and be a beacon of liberty and democracy.
To Israeli ears, this vision sounds like an aging hippie's drug-riddled hallucination. Every Israeli cabinet minister, official, expert and intelligence authority who visited Washington in recent months has warned his or her American interlocutors that Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood are lurking behind the demonstrators. Israel is being suffocated by the Islamic octopus, which is closing in on it from all sides. Turkey is already lost. Egypt, Syria and Jordan shortly will become Iranian clones. Netanyahu believes that in the face of this threat the only recourse is entrenchment, and that any concession will bring the whole wall tumbling down. Israel must batten down the hatches and wait for the ugly wave to pass. 
Both men are partially right and partially wrong, I suspect. Obama is right that holding onto the West Bank is bad for Israel. Netanyahu is right that the Arab revolutions have almost nothing to do with the American Civil Rights Movement, or with the end of Communism in Europe. (Obama yesterday said Poland should be the model for the Arabs; the nicest thing I can say about that is that perhaps he was trying to be real nice to his Polish hosts). They join each other in being wrong, however, when they both assume Israel's existence is in danger because of this decision or that.

I've been reading a lot about Jerusalem recently, as an early stage to writing a book of my own on the subject. Since Jerusalem is a very old city, reading its history tends to give a bit of perspective. The world has changed fundamentally 7 or 8 or 9 times since the city first gained any significance beyond its own walls (it existed for about 2,000 years before that, unnoticed). The people living in each of the eras probably regarded their own age as permanent, and they were always wrong, even if sometimes the change didn't come until a few centuries later. So I'm wary of anyone who warns that not heeding him will lead to destruction, but following his advice will lead to permanent stability and peace. Some forces are beyond our ability to bend to our will (or even to foresee); on the other hand, willpower and determination are the only human agents that ensure survival no matter what the surrounding turmoil - which explains why there have been Jews in Jerusalem with very few interruptions no matter how dramatic the upheavals.

In my reading, the determination of the Jews to have their own state in this chapter of the human saga, is what will ensure it. Not this specific political decision nor that. Retaining control of the West Bank will not cause Israel's destruction, just as relinquishing control won't; in both cases the determination to persist will be more important, and will enable Israel to deal with whatever threats develop. So let's tone things down a bit. Contra both Obama and Netanyahu, Israel is not about to be overwhelmed one way or the other.

Of course, there will still be scenarios less catastrophic than the end of Israel which will play out better or worse, so there's lots of room for idiotic decisions, mistakes which later seem wise, and other internationally acclaimed events which will prove disastrous. Which is why I rather liked the interpretation suggested by David Samuels, writing in Tablet (h/ Michael).

Samuels thinks highly of Obama, and thinks his recent moves demonstrate sky-high political abilities. I'm not there yet, but am willing to accept that Obama may be moving towards a practical position which is actually quite promising: defusing the conflict of its worst excess, then hunkering down. This to be achieved by getting Israel out of most of the West Bank, enabling the Palestinians to build a state there (and in Gaza), redoubling Israel's security capabilities - and dealing with Jerusalem and the Right of Return many years later. In which context Samuels tells that the Palestinians are not going to relinquish their demand for a return. Not:

The question, then, is whether Obama believes that Jerusalem and the right of return are real issues—the core of the crisis—or not.
Having spoken with most of the leading figures in Fatah over the past decade, it is my sense that the real fantasy here is the arrogant assumption that the Palestinian leadership will abandon its most deeply held principles in exchange for what even moderates see as a shriveled slice of historic Palestine. Indeed, reviewing my notes of conversations with all of Arafat’s key political advisers and security chiefs, including Mahmoud Abbas, I can’t identify a single one who expressed any clear willingness to abandon the right of return, or recognize Israel as a Jewish state. At best, these were framed as issues for future negotiations that would need to be submitted to a vote of the entire Palestinian people—including an estimated 4 to 6 million refugees and their descendants. No Palestinian leader I’ve ever spoken with—secular moderates included—imagined Israel as a permanent feature of the political landscape in the Middle East. All saw it as a more or less unnatural creation that would be subsumed, peacefully or not, by the resurgence of Arab Palestine in 20, 50, or 100 years.
Samuels thinks Obama knows this:
What Obama has very cleverly done therefore is to appropriate the Israeli proposal to establish a Palestinian state with interim borders—albeit on terms that the Israelis don’t particularly like. Yet each side stands to gain something very real from an interim arrangement that they would be unlikely to gain from an actual peace deal: The Palestinians would receive almost all of the territory they claim for an interim state—except Jerusalem—while holding on to their national dream of one day reclaiming all of Palestine from the Zionists. The Israelis, meanwhile, get a U.S.-sponsored end to the tar-baby of occupation and boatloads of shiny new weapons while holding on to major settlement blocs and an undivided Jerusalem. Hamas doesn’t have to sign a peace deal with the Israelis, and the Israelis don’t have to sign a peace deal with Hamas. America will benefit by having followed through on its promise—made by George W. Bush and repeated by Obama—to establish a Palestinian state. The millstone of Israeli occupation will be removed from around the necks of America and Israel, both of which will presumably find it easier to make friends in the Middle East.
This scenario doesn't relate very well to the near certainty that there will be violence from the West Bank directed at Israel, and that Israel will be damned if and when it then responds with violence. Yet the story of the past decade shows that when Israel disregards the international opprobrium and does what it has to do, its neighbors - on the West Bank, in Southern Lebanon, and in Gaza (2002/4, 2006, 2009) do back down, at least for a while; the Syrian example of 1973/4 demonstrates that sometimes getting hit hard enough by Israel can convince Arab enemies to refrain from violence for quite a long time. The idea that ending Israeli control of the lives of most Palestinians might convince them to move along, is not obviously foolish.

The way I see it, the structure of the conflict is that the Palestinians reject the Jews right to a nation state, and will not accept peace unless it comes in a form which will enable them to keep striving for the end of Jewish Israel. This is why they've never agreed to anything offered to them. Israel, in the meantime, mostly does accept the Palestinians' right to a nation state, so long as it's permanently limited to the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinians see a peace treaty as a step on the longer road to Israel's disappearance as the Jewish nation state; the Israelis will allow a Palestinian nation state only if it's the final stage of the conflict. These positions are irreconcilable.

What Israel needs to do - and what Obama may indeed be offering - is to break the stalemate by giving the Palestinians less than they could achieve in negotiations, i.e a state without Jerusalem. The assumption since Bill Clinton was president is that someday Israel would agree to divide Jerusalem if the Palestinians agreed to relinquish their demand for return. But they won't, so why should Israel? Better to remove the occupation - by far the most potent weapon the Palestinians have against Israel - and then continue the conflict from a position in which Israel holds all the main cards: It controls Jerusalem, and it prevents a Palestinian return. If the Palestinians can ever think of something to entice Israel to change its positions, good for them, but until then they won't be able to say that Israel must relinquish its most important positions in return for a Palestinian willingness to have sovereignty. They'll have sovereignty already. And they'll be judged - not in the court of world opinion but in the court of real life - by what they do with it.

Seen this way, the Egyptian decision to open the border with Gaza yesterday, is good for Israel, not bad. It is another step on the road to separating Israel from the Palestinians, in this case by reducing Israel's ability to intervene in Palestinian lives. If you read carefully, you'll see there are serious voices in Israel who agree on this.


Silke said...

So I'm wary of anyone who warns that not heeding him will lead to destruction, but following his advice will lead to permanent stability and peace.

Last night the BBC History Magazine Podcast told me that when Operation Barbarossa started it gave them a breezing space of just 4 to 6 weeks. That was their expectation as to how long it would take for the Soviet Union to collapse.


If after the Palestinian State has come into being the Right of Return and Jerusalem remain on the table as legitimate Palestinian grievances and the only grievance Israel has on counter-"offer" is that it wants Abbas or whoever to say "I will accept a Jewish state" then I see a scenario where the imbalance of MSM coverage will become worse than ever.

Just putting myself into the shoes of any free-lance journalist anywhere: giving voice to which grievance would enhance my chance of finding a buyer?

Sorry! but if Israel fails on that then it can become as non-"pariah" in polite company as humanly possible the harrassment will be worse than ever.

But of course that only holds true, if you believe, as I do, that reason does NOT win the fight with romance, never ever nowhere ...

Yaacov said...

I'm not talking about reason OR romance, Silke. I'm talking about power. Israel without the WB will be more powerful. It will gain additional support in America, a smidgin of support in Europe, additional indifference in Asia (which is great), and most important, greater coherence at home. The Palestinians, the Arabs, many of the Europeans and just about all of the media will be against in any case; so lets deal with the reality, not the appearances.

NormanF said...

I've stated my views before: Israel should annex the Jordan Valley and Area C, where the bulk of the settlements are, relocate the rest, annex Hebron and let the Arabs have a sovereign state on the remainder of the territory - along with the Little Triangle in Israel that would be ceded to them.

That is pretty generous. I doubt a Palestinian state will last twenty years but they should be allowed to make it without Israeli support.

Whether they are successful or not is their business and not Israel's and this aspect of the conflict can be allowed to fade away from the world's consciousness.

The Palestinian Arabs can build a future or they will disappear from history. The next stage would be up to them.

peterthehungarian said...

Yaacov, the opening of the Rafah crossing by Egypt without the international supervision of the EU is an open breach of the agreement signed by Egypt and Israel in 2005 and supports the opinions of those who say that Israel must not sign any peace agreement with the Arabs.

Silke said...


I beg to differ - the longer I read as intensively on the subject as I do the more I am convinced that the romance deficiency matters.

When I was young Israel was all romance, a breeze of fresh air, that's how we'd like the future to be, women in the military, a general with well muscled arms, all that stuff (I never bought into Kibbutz-lore the way it was fed to us but the rest sure did it for me)

I find it hard to believe that I am an exception in that that inoculation led to immunisation against the disease for all those decades when I was exposed to the MSM's best efforts.

Romantic feelings for one side are a useful ingredient of Power.

The old ingredients may not be suitable for our times any longer but I don't buy that romance is irrelevant to power - it isn't, it has never been and it will never be. If it were, there would be no marching music to start with. And I think it is a potent ingredient of Jew-hatred also.

I have a hard time getting that point even noticed everywhere, all people I admire most, being fixated on reason, but I am of the stubborn and persistent kind and I don't mind sounding ricidulous while I try to find a way of making the point acceptable for serious debate.

Silke said...

to make my point as facetiously as possible:

This is as best I know the dominant American publisher of low-brow chick-lit.

Search for Sheikh and you get this:

Search for Israel, Israeli or Jew and compare ...

to be fair Italian still gets more results than Sheikh ;-)

31 to 39 is the ratio ...

Saul Lieberman said...

So, if all goes as you expect, ending the occupation will provide us: (1) the near certainty that there will be violence from the West Bank directed at Israel, (2)Israel will be damned if and when it then responds with violence, (3) the attackers will back down, at least for a while and (4) Palestinians will see what they have achieved as a step on the longer road to Israel's disappearance.

What percentage of Israelis do you think will support that plan?

Dimitry said...

Here is the thing. You are basically repeating the "hitkansut" idea, albeit with PA agreement. The problem is that it will not win much of political support for Israel and it will create a rather dangerous situation. You are right that Israel won't be destroyed if it leaves the WB this way. But what about the Israeli economy? What will happen to it if qassams and katyushas start falling in Jerusalem, Ben Gurion and Tel Aviv? Israel has no way of stopping that short of reoccupying the WB (the iron Dome is nice, but not enough to do a major difference if there will be hundreds of rockets as opposed to a handful). By the time Israel takes the decision to invade a sovereign state of Palestine to stop the rockets, its economy will be set back by years (if not decades).

Barry Meislin said...

But Dimitry, that's the idea.

(But at least Israelis will be able to feel good about it. And the value of all those good feelings is incalculable... The stars in the heavens? The sands by the sea?... Some advice: never underestimate the value of good feelings. Tender feelings. Beautiful feelings. Moral and ethical feelings. This is what counts in life. Houses? They are only things. They can be rebuilt. Factories are only things. Cities are only things. Farms are only things. And frankly, people, too, are dispensable. Their souls will return. So why worry?)

File under: Be happy!!

Saul Lieberman said...

And... in the Washington Post article linked by Yaacov, Giora Eiland actually says this: “The Egyptians and Hamas are saying clearly, Gaza is not under siege, the crossing is open. . . . Diplomatically, this gives Israel a great advantage.”
Which is great if you believe only in an afterlife.

Yaacov said...

Dimitry -

Guilty as charged. I have been in favor of some sort of Hitkansut since about 2003, three years before Olmert invented it, and I remain in favor of it today. It seems the least bad of all possible alternatives.

Barry Meislin said...

Don't be so discouraged.

We can have Hitkansut AND destruction!!

File under: Something for everyone!

Saul Lieberman said...

Yaacov, you are also bolder than Sharon and Olmert. They never acknowledged the ensuing violence that you are willing to accept as a certainty. I hope that your candor will help ensure that the hitkansut does not happen.

Dimitry said...

Yaacov, I am not against the idea as such. I also think it'll happen in some form at some point. I'd say that puling the farflung settlments behind the barrier, while leaving miliary presence until some sort of solution is found to the rocket threat. Otherwise, as I said, I think it'll be a suicide in economical terms.

P.S. I am interested in how you reconcile your opposition to the division of Jerusalme and support for such a plan? As far as I understand, you oppose the division of Jerusalem on the grounds that it'd lead to violence and almost certain war. Well, there is a very good chance that what you propose for the rest of the WB under current conditions would lead to violence and almost certain war with dire consequences (as I outlined in my previous comment). So, where is the major difference.

Yaacov said...

Dimitry -

Diving Jerusalem is supposed to be part of the end of conflict moves, except that it won't be, and so shouldn't happen at all. Some form of unilateral disengagement is intended simply as an efficient move in an ongoing conflict. The fact that it won't create peace is a given, not a disappointment.

Saul Lieberman said...

Why not start by dividing Jerusalem? Sure, it will lead to violence, that's a given. But it's a much more efficient move than pulling out of everything but the settlement blocs.

Yaacov said...

You're being facetious, Saul. There's a significant majority of Israelis that supports dismantling most of the settlements, and there has been for decades. The settlement project is a minority policy which has been foisted upon the majority. The unity of Jerusalem is another matter. I'm not certain it might not muster a majority in the case of a true end-of-conflict scenario, but I'm not certain it would, either.

Someday the settlements will have to be outside Israel (dismantled or not) in order for the Palestinians to have a state, and for us to be rid of the occupation of them. There's no other option. On the other hand, the main claim that the Palestinians have to Jerusalem is that they really really really want it. On the ground, they could have an operable state even without it, tho.

So those are the two big differences.

Silke said...

The settlement project is a minority policy which has been foisted upon the majority.

Israel is a democracy, right?
so it have always been rightfully elected parliaments and/or governments who did it? right?

if the majority has let the minority get away with it then it can not now wash its hands of it. It is as much its fault as maybe it has been the minorities skills.

Saul Lieberman said...


I don't believe that there's a significant majority of Israelis that supports dismantling most of the settlements NOW.

More important, I don't believe that there's even a significant MINORITY that would support dismantling most of the settlements now if it was made clear that we should also expect the sacrifices that you expect:(1) immediate missiles from the West Bank, (2)Israel will still be damned if and when it responds, (3) the attackers will back down for a while and (4) Palestinians will see what they have achieved as a step on the longer road to Israel's disappearance. (And of course it could lead to much worse.)

Frankly, I am stunned and disappointed by your post. Maybe I shouldn't be. Your posts often made an implausible distinction between Jerusalem and the West Bank. And your previous posts made clear the dire consequences that would result from hitkansut. Now, you've made clear the life and death tradeoffs that you are now prepared to make. (And that I have difficulty even hearing.)

On the other hand, your candor is welcome. If the consequences of the disengagement had been made clear to the Israeli public, I doubt that there would have been support for the disengagement. Your prognosis for hitkansut is even more grave. Taken together, everyone will understand how radical and dangerous your proposition is.

Carrie said...

The occupation is already costing Israelis and it has an effect on Israel's economy. You think sending all those trucks into Gaza is free? You think all those soldiers protecting the settlements work for free?

As usual, I am with Yaacov 110%. There will be violence but Israel can handle it and the long run Israel will be fine. I think this is also a good time to let all the humanitarian supplies for Gaza go through Egypt. Now that the border is open, there is no reason not to do it that way. Also, Hamas' tunnel business will be effected. This is also positive news.

Anonymous said...

Surely the opening of the border at Rafah will only benefit Israel if there is a corresponding closing of the border with Israel. From what I see Israel is managing to make a bad situation even worse. Not only is it still "occupying" Gaza without any of the attendent benefits of actually occupying Gaza, it is now "blockading" Gaza without actually having a blockade.

Israel needs to make a decision, either cut the cord completely or go back in.


Carrie said...

Yes, cut the cord completely. It's time. If they notice anything fishy entering Gaza, they can always bomb it, like they did the Syrian reactor.

Dimitry said...

Yaacov, I am still not seeing how you address the actual issue. You say that dividing Jerusalem in an "end of conflict" scenario would lead to war, right? I generally agree that this is extremely risky proposition and which is nearly impossible to prevent. Currently, the same can be said about withdrawal from the WB. And yet, you support one and not the other. Why?

Carrie. C'mon. The two are incomparable. You remember the second intifadah, right? When Israeli sports teams had to play outside Israeli borders (even long after things stabilized), foreign teams and performers refused to come to Israel etc. Now, add to such a scenario significant risk of planes being brought down at Ben Gurion, missiles falling in the industrial areas of Hertzlia Pituah, Netanya, Caesaria, Beer Sheva, Petah Tikva etc. How long would foreign investers will keep investing? Or at least try shifting significant operations abroad? I think you underestimate the possible damage. Granted the economic downturn at the beginning of the century was not solely due to the intifadah, but the severity was part of it and Israel came pretty close to economic ruin.

yesjb said...

Regarding the penultimate paragraph...
I wish it were that easy!
The Palestinians like their Lebanese counterparts would whine and complain that whatever they have is not enough and in fact will never be enough. And they won't be judged at all! It will be the Jews who will be judged since they alone will be held accountable for all that doesn't appease the Arabs.
Look at the Sheeba farms situation. The Israelis will no doubt be urged by the Palis and the West as well (or most of it) to "compromise a little more, give up a little more, all in the name of peace and coexistence.
The Arabs will never give up their dreams and hopes of erasing Israel, the Jews and anything associated with them, their culture, their history including the archeology.
The history of the Mandate and the Arabs within it has shown that their aims and desires has not weakened, at least not that of their leaders'.
If the Palestinians were to rise up tomorrow, overthrow their leaders and say:" Yes let's negotiate", then something could be worked out. But we know they won't. Their history has been replaced by a false yet powerful mythology, shared by many in the West whose ignorance is only surpassed by their close-mindedness and unwillingness to seek the truth.
So over the years I've slowly moved from a position that a 2-state solution is possible and desirable to the realization that a 2-state solution is impossible and dangerous.

Carrie said...


Hezbollah has rockets capable of reaching all of Israel, including Ben Gurion. There are still investors.

I am as rightwing as you can get, but even I can sense that these are BS excuses. Israel needs to draw her own borders before they are drawn for her, by hostile international elitists.

Yaacov said...


I never said Israel - majority, minority, the state - isn't responsible for the settlement project. We did it, we're responsible. Of course.

What I said was that since it has been a minority project for most of the years of its existence, it's reasonable for the majority to put an end to it at some point. This is not the case with Jerusalem.

Saul, Dimitry and others: I'll respond in a separate post, not in the comments.

Silke said...

thanks Yaacov

for emphasizing that
to me it read pretty close to lots of what I read about "let's dismantle the settlements" like "they" don't belong.


but one very practical question:

as I understand it some of Ahava is produced in a place to which the BDS objects.

What would happen to that?
what would happen to those jobs?

Apparently there are lots of other BDS-protests going on in London, what would happen to all those jobs.

Lets say Israel has disengaged from all the BDS objects too, what will the BDS come up with/focus on next?

You don't expect BDS to dissolve into thin air because their claim has lost "legitimacy"?

Anonymous said...

One thing I don't understand. The Quartet is obviously quite eager to announce the 1967 'borders'. Why did Obama try to get an announcement at the G-8, a group concerned mainly with economic matters? Why not simply have the quartet announce the new parameters? In fact, if he was simply going to agree, why did the US put the previous Quartet meeting on hold?

Dimitry said...

Really, Carrie? Have you been to the northern part of Israel during '06 war? We are talking ghost town here. And where, pray tell, people who left the North would go if it were the whole country? This is not bs excuse. Your refusal to face the seriousness of the threat makes your argument unserious. Let me ask you a question, I always ask people who I think are advancing wishful thinking over reality, "Do you have a solution for the case you are wrong? What happens if my predictions come true? Do you have solutions to mitigate the consequences?" If not, you shouldn'd be in the business advocating policy one way or the other.

Carrie said...

You are not making any sense. What I said is that the terrorists already have rockets capable of reaching all of Israel. If they decide to do it ALL OF ISRAEL IS ALREADY IN RANGE, whether they leave the WB or not. Israel has to make sure that there will be grave consequences if they do such a thing. They established deterrence with Lebanon '06 and Cast Lead and they can do it again. As Netanyahu said "hit them hard."

You are also pretending that Hamas it not already smuggling in rockets thru the tunnels. I am sure they also possess some that can hit all of Israel. So they already can do it, but have decided it is not in their best interest to do so. Hamas/Fatah do not need the WB to hit Israel. They already can. Maybe you have convinced yourself otherwise, but this is reality.

Israel beat back 3 Arab armies with less territory, now they have superior military might, including technology and more soldiers. If they need to defeat the Palestinians, they can, and will.

You wanna wait for Obama to draw borders, that is your business, but I assume most Israelis want to control their own destiny.

Dimitry said...

Carrie, I am making sense, yuo just don't look at distinctions between situations. Qassams and mortars continue to this day on Sderot and the surroundings. They do not happen on Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion for one reason only -- IDF's presense in the WB.

As for Hamas smuggling into Gaza longer range rockets, you continuously hear reports about this and it is a major concern.

As for "hit them hard' and deterrence. Sure, it will happen. It'll take about two years of Israel taking it in (especially if Palestine is declared a sovereign state) and then it'll finally will have to reoccupy much of WB. Same as it was with intifadah before Defensive Shield and Gaza before Cast Lead (you see that deterrence largely held for 2 years, though I doubt that a rocket a day falling on Gush Dan would be considered as "holding")

As for imposing borders. Not only that I don't believ it'll happen, but the argument that Israel should commit suicide to forestall such an eventuality strikes me as strange.

P.S. Yes, Israel fought against three Arab armies and won. How much economical devastation did Yom Kippur War brought? What would happen in the eventuality of something like this happening today? As I said, Israel would win, no doubt about it, but it's economy would be devastated for years.

P.P.S. You might want to actually revisit my posts, as I think you assign to me some positions that I don't hold. Specifically, I think that removing farflung settlements while leaving military presense until a solution to the rocket threat is found or until things change on the Palestinian side makes a lot of sense.

Dimitry said...

To tell you the truth, Carrie, I am somewhat at a loss at your denial of the rather realistic threat. After the damage done to Israel by the intifadah, after the major damage the North sustained during a mere month confrontation with Hezbollah, and after the total devastation of the economy in the areas surrounding Gaza, you still claim that if this were to happen in central region of Israel there wouldn't be dire consequences.

I mean, you can say that you think the damage to Israel from continuing the status quo is greater (I would disagree with such a position, but it is at least a logical position), but you try to deny any danger from such a move at all, or try comparing the economic costs of the situations. C'mon.

Anonymous said...

Dmitry, I am also amazed at this comment. Israel had virtually no succcess at destroying the short range missiles in 2006. The longer range missiles are larger, fewer in number, easier to spot and easier to track. They are also more valuable to the enemy making the cost equation more balanced.

We have all heard the "hitting them hard" argument during Oslo, during the pullout from Lebanon, during the pullout from Gaza. Look at the reality. Look how long it took to react and look at the effect "hitting them hard" had on Israel. Hell look at the "positive effect" it had on either peace or Israeli feel-good or Israel's image in the world.

I certainly would not support building any more settlements or sinking more in money but to just pull out for the heck of it has to be delusional.


Yaacov said...

I've now responded in a separate post. Everyone's welcome to disagree with me there.

Carrie said...

Just to respond to one thing here. It is stupid for Israel to always wait to respond to the rockets. Other people say it would be a war of attrition but I think Israel should respond to each and every provocation-hard. Israel does not do that now, as they promised to do during Oslo,e tc. Hamas launches rockets into Israel towns and Israel bombs empty fields. Israel can destroy all the smuggling tunnels and the international community would stay quiet. Why don't they do that? I really don't understand many of Israel's actions.
I also do not believe that Israel's control of the WB stops Hezbollah from shooting rockets, which is what you are essentially saying. The terrorists, and there are many diff. groups, have rockets capable of hitting all of Israel as I said many times, and that you just admitted they probably have in Gaza. They just have to understand it is not in their best interest and so far they understand that. In the future, they may be stupid, and if so, they should pay.