Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Ariel Sharon's Conspiracy

I was adamantly opposed to the disengagement plan in 2005. I thought the unilateral move would lead to a Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip. Did nobody else realize this? Our country's leadership and intelligence officials should have been able to predict this.

Maybe they did. I have a feeling Ariel Sharon wanted to ensure Israeli control of the West Bank. The best way to do this would be by eliminating Israeli public support for any further withdrawals. The evacuation of Jewish settlers had to be as traumatic as possible and terrorists had to take over the strip.

Achieving a traumatic effect during the evacuation worked in two ways. One was more obvious: people who fortified themselves in houses and on rooftops, women and children being dragged out of houses, and instances of little kids wearing orange Stars of David, reminiscent of the yellow Stars of David during the Holocaust. The second method was more subtle. The government office set up to take care of settlers, most of whom left Gaza by the required deadline, was utterly inefficient. Today, three and a half years later, many evacuees still do not have permanent housing, and currently live in "caravillas" (caravan villas) within missile range from Gaza.

Letting Hamas take over Gaza was not very complicated. All that had to be done was leave in such a way that it would seem like we were escaping Hamasnik wrath. Gazans already sympathized with Hamas, so such a move would empower an already popular terrorist organization. Had we reached a deal with the Palestinian Authority under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas, the evacuation would have been seen as the fruits of negotiations, not of terror.

Just because Ariel Sharon was hoping for Hamas to rise to power doesn't mean that our current operation in Gaza is not justified. It certainly is. Even if our own government's actions have contributed to the situation, rocket fire into Israel still must be stopped. Keep in mind that the Qassams started coming in 2001, before the disengagement. Hamas would not have stopped the rocket fire even if Gaza would have been given peacefully to the PA, and there is no guarantee that it wouldn't have taken over the territory anyway.


  1. Thanks for the notification but I'd already seen it. I'm not sure where you're going with this to be honest, even though I agree with most of it.

    The 2005 plan took me completely by surprise, esp. coming from Sharon. But when they started packaging it as "land for peace", I was once again hopeful. But later I saw it more as a tactical move: save lots of NIS (continued IDF presence to protect 8,000 or so settler must have cost a small fortune for the benefit it yielded to Israel) and improve the stranglehold over WB. Sacrifice chickenfeed to consolidate the larger picture [WB, that's the prize!].

    I also read the indignation and fury at the fact many of the ex-settlers hadn't been re-settled properly after their evacuation on many a Far Right settler-supporting blog. It's of course a true disgrace: these people should have been treated much, much better.

    One could suspect even something sinister, as having such a disenchanted group of ex-settlers could be very handy for those opposing any withdrawal from WB. certainly people like Mad Zionist have been using that argument: "look at how they were treated by the Arab-lovers! [O/L/B]"

    What seems to be lacking in your post is some kind of conclusion: how will all this impact the future. Me? For the moment my mind id made up about how this will all end, the options are limited...

  2. I think Sharon was moderately successful, but only moderately. The left and right weren't really impacted by the disengagement, since each side just reinforced its previous positions: peaceniks were reminded that dialogue is the only way to go and hawks concluded that leaving the territories is no good.

    The impact is on the moderates. First of all, more former moderates have moved to the right. Also, most moderates still support the two-state solution but want to tread carefully, since they trust Palestinians even less than ever before.

    Ironically, the conclusions reached by the leadership of Kadima seems to be closer to the conclusions of the left than the conclusions of the right. Since Sharon got a stroke about five months after the withdrawal he wasn't able to steer his party in the direction he wanted.

    The biggest test is the next general election. You could say that it is a competition between Ariel Sharon's party (Kadima) and his legacy (Likud). If his legacy wins, we're screwed.

  3. "You could say that it is a competition between Ariel Sharon's party (Kadima) and his legacy (Likud). If his legacy wins, we're screwed."

    That's a given, I'd say. Still, Israeli coalition politics is highly unpredictable...