Charles Krauthammer on the Israeli abandonment of Gaza. Krauthammer sees the unilateral pullout as “correct and necessary” because Israel has no peace partner and in the absence of a partner the only logical policy is to “rationalize your defensive lines and prepare for a long wait.”
Krauthammer acknowledges two objections to this approach. First, those who seek to terrorize and ultimately destroy Israel will have an easier time launching rockets at her. Second, the “world” will now demand new concessions of Israel. Krauthammer responds to the first objection by calling on Israel to launch five rocket attacks against Gaza for every one launched against Israel. To the second objection, he simply insists that no more concessions be made.
In a sense, Krauthammer’s two problems — “rockets” and “the world” — are really the same problem. For just as the world will demand more Israeli concessions, it will condemn Israeli rocket counter-attacks. This problem would not be a serious one but for the fact that its real location is not “the world,” but rather the United States (coupled with a large and influential segment of Israel itself). The disappointing Condoleezza Rice and her successors will not accept massive Israeli counter-attacks on Palestinians over a sustained period. And they will demand more Israeli concessions, as Rice is already beginning to do. Sharon may (or may not) be strong enough to thumb his nose at the U.S. on these matters. His successors almost surely will not be.
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