Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamim Netanyahu has resigned from his position as Finance Minister in protest of next week’s pull-out from Gaza and parts of the West Bank. As Finance Minister, Netanyahu has spearheaded efforts to streamline Israel’s economy. The Israeli stock market fell by 3 percent in reaction to Natanyahu’s announcement.
Natanyahu has been somewhat Kerryesque with respect to the Gaza pull-out. He voted in favor of it in the Cabinet but also tried to torpedo the plan in parliamentary maneuvers. Last week, while denouncing the pull-out in an interview with the Jerusalem Post, he defended his decision to remain in the government.
Natanyahu is correct on the merits of the pull-out, in any case. The notion that Israel somehow is better off with Hamas in charge of Gaza is odd enough that the pull-out would make little sense even if Israel had received something in return, which it did not. Cal Thomas may be over-dramatic is seeing the pull-out as the beginning of the end for Israel, but it could well be the beginning of a new round of big trouble.
Our friend Dafydd ab Hugh takes a different view. As usual, Dafydd’s point of view is plausible and original. However, I think his premise that Israel will respond with massive force to attacks made possible by the pull-out underestimates the forces that constrain Israel. Nor is it obvious that Israel is better off setting the stage for Hamas attacks that, in Dafydd’s scenario, would prompt a war.
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