In his latest column, the Boston Globe‘s Jeff Jacoby writes about the conclusion of Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, and what it means:
[I]f Sharon and the supporters of unilateral withdrawal are right, the departure from Gaza should mean fewer terrorist attacks like the one that cost Elkanah Gubi his life. No longer obliged to defend a Jewish presence there, physically separated from the Palestinians by a security fence, Israelis ought to be more secure without Gaza than they ever were with it.
For years, Israel has been told much the same thing by its critics: Since the “occupation” of Gaza and the West Bank is the cause of Arab terrorism, the way to end Palestinian terrorism is to end Israel’s presence in the territories.
But far from reducing the terrorists’ bloodlust, Israel’s retreat from Gaza has only inflamed it. In just the past two weeks, a Palestinian knifed a Jewish student to death in Jerusalem’s Old City, an Israeli policemen was stabbed in the throat by an Arab in Hebron, Kassam rockets were fired from Gaza into the southern Israeli town of Sderot, a suicide bomber blew himself up in Beersheba’s crowded bus station, a Katyusha missile launched from Lebanon exploded in the Israeli village of Margaliot, a firebomb was thrown at an Israeli vehicle on a highway outside Jerusalem, and a 14-year-old boy from Nablus was caught with three bombs.
In a videotape circulated by Hamas this week, archterrorist Mohammed Deif vowed that Israel’s departure from Gaza would mean more of the same.
“Today you leave Gaza in humiliation,” he taunted the Israelis. “You are leaving hell. We promise that tomorrow, with Allah’s help, all of Palestine will be hell for you.” For the umpteenth time, an Israeli government spokesman urged the Palestinian Authority to disarm and dismantle Hamas, as required by the international “road map” it has agreed to.
If Jacoby is correct, as I believe him to be, the implications regarding U.S. efforts in Iraq are clear.