Monday, May 29, 2006

The Folly of Israeli Disengagement

While I do not agree with all he says in his Opinion Journal piece yesterday, the words of James Woosley, the former Director of Central Intelligence, ring wise and true concerning The Folly of Israeli Disengagement:

"Three major Israeli efforts at accommodation in the last 13 years have not worked. Oslo and the 1993 handshake in the Rose Garden between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat produced only Arafat's rejection in 2000 of Ehud Barak's extremely generous settlement offer and the beginning of the second intifada. The Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000 has enhanced Hezbollah's prestige and control there; and the withdrawal from Gaza has unleashed madness. These three accommodations have been based on the premise that only Israeli concessions can displace Palestinian despair. But it seems increasingly clear that the Palestinian cause is fueled by hatred and contempt."
Woosley succinctly points out that the Israeli and American governments need to wake up to the reality that al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Iranian Revolutionary Guard units are not going to disengage from Israel once Israel disengages from the West Bank:

"The approach Israel is preparing to take in the West Bank was tried in Gaza and has failed utterly. The Israeli withdrawal of last year has produced the worst set of results imaginable: a heavy presence by al Qaeda, Hezbollah and even some Iranian Revolutionary Guard units; street fighting between Hamas and Fatah, and now Hamas assassination attempts against Fatah's intelligence chief and Jordan's ambassador; rocket and mortar attacks against nearby towns inside Israel; and a perceived vindication for Hamas, which took credit for the withdrawal. This latter almost certainly contributed substantially to Hamas's victory in the Palestinian elections."
When will reality start setting in? We can only hope soon. So far, the lessons of history seem to have been lost on Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Bush.

No comments: