The Day After

I’m going to make this short, because it really is simple.

After Hamas is completely extirpated from Gaza, militarily and politically, and its leadership wiped out, then what?

The Biden Administration wants to see the Palestinian Authority put in control, which, they think, will finally enable the two-state solution they have been trying to impose since the 1970s. Israel cannot allow this.

The PA, dominated by the terrorist organization Fatah, is no more prepared to suffer a Jewish state next door than Hamas. The only thing that prevents PA Arabs from doing precisely the same thing that Hamas did on 7 October is the day in, day out activity of the Shabak and the IDF to arrest or kill terrorists and interrupt their plans.

If you don’t believe this, look at what the PA says in its own media. But even if this weren’t true, and the PA actually was a “moderate” institution interested in peaceful development of a Palestinian state, what prevents it from being taken over by extremists? After all, this is precisely what happened in Gaza after Israel withdrew its soldiers, expelled its civilians by force, and even exhumed its dead from Gazan cemeteries in 2005 (think about why this last step was necessary).

As long as there is Palestinian sovereignty in Gaza, there is no doubt that it will develop into a base for terrorism. Those residents of the Western Negev that survived the pogrom of 7 October will not return. In effect Israel will cede a large part of her country to her enemies.

Another suggestion is that there should be some kind of international control of the area. It’s hard not to burst out laughing at this idea, when one considers the history of such arrangements, like the UN force in Lebanon that stood by and watched after the 2006 Second Lebanon War, as Iran built Hezbollah into a existential threat to Israel with 130,000 rockets aimed at every inch of the country.

Only Israeli control of Gaza can guarantee the safety of the Western Negev, and ensure that the next war – which is certainly coming – will not have a southern front.

Possibly civil control can be rested in the Arab clans that are powerful in the various areas of the Gaza Strip; but there will be no alternative to an IDF presence to provide overall security and prevent an extremist takeover. The only other alternative is forced emigration of a large part of the population and military occupation of the territory.

What is true of Gaza is also true of Judea and Samaria. Palestinian sovereignty there would lead to a terrorist base a few kilometers from the population centers of Israel. This has happened consistently whenever Israel has withdrawn from territory she controlled and international guarantees have never made any difference. The topography of the region is such that Israel cannot be defended against attack from a Palestinian state there or from the east if she does not control the high ground of Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley.

This isn’t controversial from a strategic point of view, though the Palestinians and their supporters find it unpalatable. But it cannot be Israel’s problem that the Arab leadership embraced, and never renounced, a fundamentally antisemitic position that rejects any Jewish state between the river and the sea. If they had the power that Israel has, they would kill or banish every last Jew, as happened in numerous Arab countries after 1948. We are (possibly wrongly) more tolerant. But we won’t tolerate being murdered.

Israel has several difficult tasks ahead of her, a consequence of the failure to see and understand reality in the Middle East that led to the Oslo Accords, the withdrawal from Gaza, and other strategic mistakes. In order of immediacy, they are: to eliminate Hamas and take control of the Gaza Strip; to remove the military threat posed by Hezbollah; to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons; and to establish permanent Israeli sovereignty in Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley.

None of these are easy – maybe Gaza is actually the easiest – from a military and especially a political/diplomatic standpoint. But they are essential to the survival of the Jewish state, and therefore – as events in the diaspora are teaching us – to the Jewish people.

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3 Responses to The Day After

  1. NormanF says:

    Israel will have to take permanent control of Gaza.

    This is true regardless of whether the Arab population stays or goes.

    Ariel Sharon, the stupidest and moat criminal person in Israel’s history, led the country down the path that culminated in the October 7 pogrom.

    Its one that Israel must never repeat again. Israel cannot give up territory and remain secure.

    Of course, that means a Palestinian state is off the table. The Arabs don’t have an entitlement to destroy Israel and to commit genocide of its people.

    As long as the other side is committed to a zero sum solution, there can be no talk of a political solution. They and not Israel – will have to change.

    That should be Israel’s policy going forward on the Day After.

  2. jack6543 says:

    I agree. Jews now have a choice of supporting a strong Israel and diaspora or returning to a soft diaspora containing occasional pogroms and oppressions and general dislike by the native populations. It is the Herculean choice as set out below. Jews must support you and like you make the difficult but correct choice.

    The story goes that Hercules, when a young man, found himself at an isolated fork in the road, where he sat to contemplate his future. Uncertain which path to take in life he found himself confronted by two goddesses. One, a very beautiful and alluring woman, was called Kakia, although she claimed that her friends call her “Happiness” (Eudaimonia). She charged in front to ensure she spoke first, promising him that her path was “easiest and pleasantest”, and that it provided a shortcut to “Happiness”. She claimed he would avoid hardship and enjoy luxury beyond most men’s wildest dreams, produced by the labour of others. After hearing this, Hercules was approached by the second goddess, called Aretê, a plain-dressed and humble woman, though naturally beautiful. To his surprise, she told him that her path would require hard work from him and it would be “long and difficult”. In fact the path Hercules chose would be dangerous beyond belief, he would be tested by many hardships, perhaps more than any man who had lived before, and have to endure great loss and suffering along the way. “Nothing that is really good and admirable”, said Aretê, “is granted by the gods to men without some effort and application.” However, Hercules would have the opportunity to face each adversity with courage and self-discipline, and of showing wisdom and justice despite great danger. He would earn true Happiness by reflecting on his own praiseworthy and honourable deeds.

    Hercules, of course, chose the path of Aretê or “Virtue” and was not seduced by Kakia or “Vice”.

  3. IRAB says:

    Thanks so much for “coming out of retirement”, to share your valuable and stimulating thoughts once again.

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