Published by The Freeman Center
The Maccabean Online
Political Analysis and Commentary
How Did We Let It Come To This?
by Gerald A. Honigman
I received a phone call this morning from a friend. Ron wanted me to listen to Chabad’s Jewish radio program in town, where the plight of Sderot’s children would be discussed…the town in the Negev that’s under constant bombardment by Arabs years after Israel’s total withdrawal from adjacent Gaza. The plan evidently involves moving the kids elsewhere, out of harm’s way.
Like many other Diaspora Jews, I’m also deeply concerned about the resurrected Jewish State. But Israel itself has been making serious blunders over the last few decades--and, especially, the past several years--which greatly exacerbates its situation.
Something about this rubs the wrong way… big time.
I know, it’s easy for me to be brave when it’s not my own town in Florida being targeted. But it goes far beyond this…
The Arabs have always planned to make life so unbearable for Jews in Israel that they’d want to abandon the Zionist dream.
When a pressured Prime Minister/General Ariel Sharon came up with his controversial unilateral withdrawal plan for Israel from Gaza a few years back, many of us had mixed feelings. One of our main fears was that it would just bring Arab terror that much closer to Israel proper, while caving into yet another step in the Arabs’ post-’67 War destruction-in-phases plans for Zion. We instinctively knew that Arabs would not take advantage of this to begin a state-building process for their 22nd state and second, not first, within the original 1920 borders of the Mandate of Palestine (Jordan created from almost 80%of this back in 1922).
Yet, we hoped we would be proven wrong.
After all, David Ben-Gurion himself looked to Israel’s own Negev Desert as a major area for a growing Jewish population, not Gaza--despite the latter being used as an invasion route to attack Jews from since the days of the Pharaohs.
Sad to say, the Arab leopard does not change its spots, and the whole area--despite scores of millions of non-Arab Kurds, Berbers, Copts, Jews, black Africans, and so forth--is still regarded as “purely Arab patrimony.”
Episodes such as the Gaza withdrawal only confirm the success of the overall Arab game plan for the region. The Arabs’ ANFAL campaign against Kurds in Iraq and genocide against black Africans in the Sudan are just a few of many other examples.
So, back to Sderot...
I’m all for building strong defenses and shelters to try to keep the town’s citizens as safe as possible from Arab mortars, rockets, and such. But evacuating Jews in Israel proper because of Arab terror is a line which I believe will lead us down a very dangerous slippery slope. Today Sderot, tomorrow Ashkelon, and so forth as Arab missiles gain in range and power.
Jews should not be the ones having to do the evacuating…
Imagine, as Presidential hopeful John McCain has said himself, that it was an American border town in Arizona, Texas, or elsewhere being subjected to this terror.
Would the world expect an America, which dwarfs Israel, to evacuate its own land, or would it expect the aggressors to halt their destructive, murderous behavior? Certainly Mexico has its grievances with America…McCain and President Bush’s home states were once part of that country.
Now, what do you think we--or any other nation--would do (have done) under such circumstances?
Okay? So now here’s the plan…
Since Prime Minister Olmert’s crew lacks the backbone (and a few other analogous body parts) to spell it out and carry it through (letting the Arabs’ good buddies in the American State Department dictate most of Israeli policy instead), let me propose that a major, well-advertised , televised news conference be held to which many of the world’s leading media and diplomats will be invited. It will be broadcast live, all over the world carried by radio too, in many different languages, will explain much of what I have already covered above, and will be delivered by a handsome orator with the talent of the late Abba Eban. Yep, the John F. Kennedy factor won’t be ignored either.
After this general overview of the situation Israel faces, the following will next be stated…
My friends...Please understand that Israel would love nothing more than to be able to live in a true, mutually respectful, peace with our Arab neighbors. Unfortunately, the problem has never been how big Israel is, but that Israel is. For this problem, there is no compromise solution, and poll after poll conducted amongst Arabs has shown this to still be the case. Continuous unilateral Israeli concessions only convince Arabs of Israel’s weakness and the success of their own long term strategy for Israel’s demise.
In light of this, and in consideration of the current main Arab target of terror, please note the following…
Sderot will not undergo any evacuations.
If evacuations are called for, then they will not be those of Jews.
We will soon be delivering to our Arab neighbors one last call for them to begin their own # 22 state-building process, rather than continuing to persist in their quest to destroy our one, tiny, sole state. Gaza was a test of what the future might hold…and the Arabs have flunked it--pure and simple.
If, as we fear, they ignore our plea and continue to wage terror, destruction , bodily harm, and murder, then we will be forced to respond to these open acts of war the way others have and would respond.
Indeed, we have been far more patient than any other nation regarding those who openly seek our destruction. And, in this, the Hamas-led Arabs only differ in timing with those led by Abbas’s Fatah…by the latter’s own words. The quarrel between the two factions is largely about who will control the billions of dollars that will be pouring in from abroad--not over acceptance of a permanent Jewish neighbor.
Those ruling Gaza were openly elected by that Arab population--the same population which shields them as they launch their terror. Furthermore, the same situation awaits us in Judea and Samaria, aka the “West Bank,” unless a reasonable territorial compromise is arrived there as well. Secretary of State Rice might wish us to believe otherwise, but it is our children in the line of fire--not hers.
Let it be known that the next act of Arab terror launched against us will be met by the following sequence of events. We will not pursue tit-for-tat or targeted responses any longer, for those have proven to be virtually useless.
When the next mortar or rocket lands, we will proceed as follows:
We will drop by air--as we’ve done elsewhere before--numerous warnings, in Arabic, to the Gaza population. Unlike Arab terror, we will let Arabs know where not to be in advance.
They will be told that two days following the next terror attack will be answered by a massive artillery bombardment of the entire width of the area in Gaza from which mortars or rockets may be launched from. This is similar to what America calls its Powell Doctrine. The two-day grace period will provide time for Arab evacuation of the area. Note also that we put ourselves at risk by doing this, with the probability of being subjected to massive foreign pressure, and so forth.
Because of the latter, it has also been discussed that we carry out our plan according to the Arabs’ own rules, and launch our response unannounced--without telegraphing our plans or punch. Unlike our neighbors, however, we cannot get ourselves to behave as such.
The day afterward the artillery assault will bring a massive aerial bombardment.
As the Perfidy and other clauses of the Geneva Conventions openly state, warring parties cannot use their civilian populations as human shields, and when they do so, this will not remove such locations as legitimate targets…Any civilian casualties will thus be on the Arabs’ own shoulders.
The presence of the civilian population shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attack...
The parties to the conflict shall...avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas.
There will be no massive infantry invasion, subjecting Jewish soldiers to the deadly surprises Arabs think they have in store for them.
After the bombardment, a fifteen-mile buffer zone will be created which will be a mine field, posted for all to see and keep out of.
If terror continues after our initial responses, we will repeat the above process, extending the mine field, and so forth.
We advise our Arab foes to forget about crying to their hypocritical friends in the United Nations, the American State Department, and elsewhere. We have already displayed a patience far beyond what any of those folks would display themselves given the same circumstances which we have daily faced..
Finally, we are holding this news conference today because we truly hope that we will not have to put these plans into motion.
But we refuse to put up with the murder and destruction any more.
Now, I will open the floor to questions from this distinguished audience…