On Sept. 22, 2005, Israel completed its unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. It did not take someone with the power of an Old Testament prophet to predict what would come next. Hamas almost immediately filled the vacuum and began planning a series of terrorist attacks on civilian targets within Israel.
The latest attack, on Oct. 6, the 50th anniversary of the start of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, which nearly overwhelmed the Jewish State, has resulted (so far) in the deaths of hundreds of Israelis, the wounding of many hundreds more, and the taking of hostages by Hamas. These include Israeli soldiers and civilians, some of them women, children, the elderly and disabled.
The Biden administration and several European governments condemned the attacks (and predictably, Iran, which reportedly gave the green light to Hamas, praised them), but they and previous administrations encouraged the terrorists (can we stop calling these murderers “militants” as some in the media do?) by pressuring Israel over many years to “do more” to seek peace with the Palestinians. The more concessions Israel has made, the more the terrorists are encouraged in their pursuit of eradicating Israel.
Saudi Arabia has offered to pump more oil, which would result in at least a temporary lowering of gas prices next year – an American election year – if Israel will make more concessions to the Palestinians. Will the Biden administration take the bait, hoping to improve the president’s terrible poll numbers?
The Anti-Defamation League has reviewed Saudi high school textbooks and found that they promote hatred against Jews, Christians, women, homosexuals and other Muslim sects. This, despite repeated promises to return the country to a more moderate form of Islam. Why should the U.S. trust the Saudis when, according to some experts, the Koran encourages devout Muslims to lie to “infidels” in pursuit of their jihadi goals that include Israel’s destruction?
Wasn’t “land for peace” supposed to be the magic formula? Didn’t the West believe in this doctrine and hasn’t Israel done all the giving and received only war and terrorism in return? The West should concede the formula is wrong.
This is the premise in Israeli commentator Caroline Glick’s book, “The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East.” She writes: “Between 1970 and 2013, the United States presented nine different peace plans for Israel and the Palestinians, and for the past twenty years, the two-state solution has been the centerpiece of U.S. Middle East policy. But despite this laser focus, American efforts to implement a two-state peace deal have failed—and with each new attempt, the Middle East has become less stable, more violent, more radicalized, and more inimical to democratic values and interests.”
Her proposals include a full annexation of the West Bank. It may sound radical, until one considers the alternatives the West has been pushing almost since the founding of modern Israel in 1948. Continuing to follow the same path that hasn’t worked in the past only guarantees more terrorism and war in the future, as we are witnessing in the present. Wishful thinking never produces the results the wishers seek to achieve. Instead of more of the same, what is needed is less of the same and in fact none of the same.
In 1973, The late King Hussein of Jordan warned Israel of impending military action by Egypt and Syria. President Nixon and Secretary of State Kissinger had forbidden Israel to launch a preemptive strike against either Egypt or Syria as Israel had successfully done in the 1967 Six Day War. Nixon sent military aid just in time to ensure Israel’s victory, which resulted in a united Jerusalem and Israel’s capturing more of the strategic Golan Heights.
The lesson that never seems to be learned is that when one bargains with evil, like Hamas, evil wins. The goal should be to defeat evil and in that pursuit Israel deserves the support of all who share her greater goal of true peace.
Look for Cal Thomas’ latest book “A Watchman in the Night: What I’ve Seen Over 50 Years Reporting on America” (HumanixBooks).