Written by Daniel Greenfield
Like virtually every political step Israel has taken since 1991, the Disengagement from Gaza and the blockade of Hamas was done under the assumption that if Israel took the most moderate path possible (short of actual national suicide) the world community would be reasonable about it and work together to isolate the "extremists" and stabilize the region.
That assumption has been repeatedly shown to be false. The world is not interested in being reasonable. It has no litmus test that Muslim terrorists can ever fail, and no test that Israel can ever pass.
Israel's Border Wall and the Blockade of Gaza were bare minimum attempts by Israel to isolate itself from the terrorists, and isolate the terrorists from their arms suppliers in Iran and Syria. Not only did Israel give a free hand to Hamas, an Islamic group whose sole purpose is to wipe it out, but it continued allowing in aid and even provided medical assistance to Gaza residents. Both the Wall and the Blockade had the initial backing of the United States and a number of European governments. After all blockades were not a new tactic to the US and every country understood the legitimacy of having a border fence to protect your own border.
But instead, the Wall was dubbed the Apartheid Wall, despite the fact that there were about as many Arabs on one side of it as another, and that the Arabs on the other side of it claimed to be members of a separate Palestinian nation. And the Blockade was redefined as Israeli piracy and oppression against the not particularly starving "People of Gaza". The Obama administration along with Europe is now calling for an end to the blockade. And Israel has a choice between either fighting a continuous war against naval incursions from Turkey and Iran, with leftist "Human Shields" to provide cover for the terrorists-- or reclaiming control over Gaza and driving out Hamas.
The arguments for reclaiming Gaza are straightforward enough.
The situation as it stands cannot be settled through any form of negotiation, as Hamas has made it clear that under no circumstances will it accept any form of permanent peace agreement, only temporary truces. The world is no longer demanding that Israel negotiate with terrorists, as it had in the past with the PLO. Instead it is demanding that Israel stop interfering with the terrorists. Not because this will bring peace through negotiations, but because they have accepted the national claims of Hamas, a genocidal Islamist terrorist organization. This is obviously an unsustainable and unacceptable demand.
Despite numerous attempts to find "moderates" willing to negotiate, Hamas remains dedicated to working together with Iran for the planned genocide of the Jews. Its charter contains the quote: "The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him" as its raison d'etre. And as the world is no longer willing to back Israel's passive approach to containing Hamas-- then the country has no choice but to move to active suppression.
Since the attempts by Islamist regimes in Iran and Turkey to aid Hamas now have the approval of the world, further attempts to maintain the blockade are futile. The blockade of Gaza was based on the idea that Israel could isolate Hamas and thereby peacefully remove it from power. Instead Muslim regimes and left wing activists have instead once again isolated Israel. The mistake that Israel made once again was to imagine that reasonable behavior would produce cooperation. Instead once again the world rewards Islamic terrorists and punishes their victims.
Furthermore, Israel left Gaza, and forcibly ethnically cleansed Jewish towns and villages in the area, as part of an understanding with the US on the status of other Jewish towns and villages. The Obama administration has since then chosen to not only ignore that understanding, but to expand its definition of "settlements" to include Jews living in Jerusalem. The Obama administration has unilaterally revoked the understanding reached with Israel that was the basis for the Gaza Disengagement. As such Israel has every right to reverse its own disengagement.
By leaving Gaza alone and only monitoring its borders and coastlines, Israel displayed superhuman patience and tolerance for terrorists. But if the world refuses to back a naval blockade, then Israel has no choice but to take control of the ground. If the Obama administration refuses to accept the understanding on which Israel's original withdrawal was based, then it is time to reverse that withdrawal. The ongoing imprisonment of Gilad Shalit, Hamas' own atrocities against fellow Arabs and the presence of Al Queda in Gaza-- are all additional factors that demand action.
The world's implicit endorsement of Hamas territorial rights leaves Israel with only two choices, to allow Hamas to function as a country, or to reclaim the area and shut Hamas down for good. Since Hamas is not willing to negotiate a permanent peace agreement and remains dedicated to terrorism and war, the former option is completely unworkable. Especially with Iran, Syria and Turkey being all too eager to arm and use Hamas as a proxy to justify a war with Israel. The latter option then is the only one that remains on the table. Either Israel will retake Gaza now, or it will have to retake it as part of a regional war. Retaking it now will mean less bloodshed on both sides. And possibly avoid a regional conflict.
Right now Hamas is playing the Volksdeutsche to Iran's Germany and Israel's Czechoslovakia. Spurious claims of civil rights are being used to carve Israel up in preparation for a full invasion. And the likes of Ahmadinejad and Erdogan are competing over who will play Der Fuhrer and who will play Il Duce in this scenario. A full fledged Hamas state in Gaza will be an Iranian barracks and naval base inside Israel. And once Israel concedes on the sea, it will have to concede on the air too. Because the same "activists" who sail ships, will be able to rent planes too. And Israel will not be able to board those mid-air. It will have to choose between shooting them down and creating more "martyrs" and world outrage, or letting Iran ferry weapons through the air directly into its territory.
As of now, Egypt does not want Gaza. Fatah is not prepared to retake Gaza. Hamas is absolutely unwilling to negotiate a permanent peace agreement. The only thing left for Israel to do is retake Gaza, drive out Hamas and reassert control over the area. This will lead to short term violence, but long term peace. As opposed to the current scenario adopted by the Obama administration which leads to both short term violence and long term catastrophe.
The blockade of Gaza has failed. Not because of Israel, but because the world could not make the right choice between a democratic country and a genocidal terrorist group that is second cousins with Al Queda. The blockade was Israel's concession to terrorism, a passive enforcement of its borders and interdiction of arms smuggling. The passive response is dead now. It's time to retake Gaza or face the consequences.
From NY to Jerusalem, Daniel Greenfield Covers the Stories Behind the News