Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Posted by Daniel Greenfield 15 Comments
In 2000 Ehud Olmert's current political ally and then Prime Minister Ehud Barak withdrew from Lebanon giving Hizbullah a free hand to build up an army at Israel's borders and turn former Israeli controlled territory into a war zone from which to shell Israel all the way to Haifa. Barak promised that the retreat would secure Israel's borders so that Israeli troops would not have to return to Lebanon. He lied.
In 2005 Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert withdrew from Gaza. They turned Gaza over to Hamas which began building up an army there and using it as a base for terrorist attacks against Israel and to shell Israeli towns and cities. Sharon and Olmert claimed that the withdrawal would secure Israel's borders and Israeli soldiers would never return to Gaza. They lied. A year later and they're back. A year later and the only difference between Lebanon and Gaza is that the Hizbullah had 6 years of free reign to prepeare for this war, while Hamas less than 1 year.
With Israel casualties of the killed and wounded in the hundreds, with the entire north of Israel under fire, with tens of thousands of refugees and Haifa's residents sleeping in shelters; the idea that withdrawing from territories and turning them over to the terrorists can bring security or peace. That false delusion has been buried along with the bodies of dozens of soldiers and civilians, of the rubble in Haifa and Sderot. Or it should have been.
Ehud Olmert arrived at Nitzanit where so many of the refugees he created, before Hizbullah got their crack at them, live. Where a woman who lost most of her possessions in Gush Katif went after a shell struck her home and she lost all she had left. He arrived with no regrets or apologies for the disastrous failures of his policies. Instead he continued to champion a further retreat from the West Bank. Even as Israel is being pounded from Gaza and Lebanon, Olmert wants to open the door for Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad to shell Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Facing the very people who were the victims of his government's disastrous policy of retreats that had led to this war, Olmert snidely told them that a pilot had died today and his family unlike the settlers didn't ask for any compensation. This shamefull Soviet display of rhetoric is almost fantastic coming from a man living in safety and lecturing people who actually are on the front line. That pilot was killed in a war with the enemy. The settlers were attacked by their own government and even the compensation promised to those who left on their own, was never paid.
Olmert's determination to continue pursing a policy that has led Israel to disaster would be the equivalent of England proposing to continue turning a blind eye to German conquests even as German bombers were striking London. Even at war with enemies that have taken advantage of Israel's retreats to subject Israel to the kind of assault the country has not experienced for decades. Even after dozens are dead and Arab terrorists have thoroughly demonstrated that a border and a wall are no defense against a sustained bombardment, Olmert is blindly continuing to push a policy that only a lunatic could embrace at this point.
Talk about seperation and secure borders becomes laughable when the enemy simply goes over and under your borders. Israel is not ancient China and a wall is a static defense that cannot keep a determined enemy out. If the arguments against withdrawals were theoretical beforehand and required the Israeli public to imagine the enemy shelling Israeli towns and cities, no imagination is needed anymore. It's just a matter of looking outside or turning on the TV news. The war is here and will only intensify as every inch of territory yielded by Israel will be turned by the enemy into a base of operations to inflict terror on Israeli citizens.
International forces are not the answer. Hizbullah operates openly around UN positions. NATO will not remain long and will likely be equally tolerant of Hizbullah. Any NATO forces that don't turn a blind eye to Hizbullah operations will quickly meet the same fate as the US Marines who were deployed there. NATO, particularly those members already committed to Iraq, are not going to fight another war in Lebanon against Hizbullah. All that NATO's deployment accomplishes is to provide political cover for Israel's retreat and to give Europe further authority to dictate settlement terms to Israel; all the while charging the bill to Israel's political capital for getting NATO troops there in the first place.
Negotiations have failed. Withdrawal has failed. Turning over Israel's security to foreign troops is futile and an admission that Israel can no longer protect itself and desires to be a colony again. The last time around Rome was happy to oblige. Do we really want a repetition of that history?
In the end all the clever new solutions meant to usher in a bright and shiny new middle east have failed. Wise men return to the old solutions that kept the peace. Fools and liars learn nothing and continue the folly of their ways.