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by Dr. Steven Carol


The unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Gaza has been an unmitigated disaster. It was a disengagement from truth and reality. It uprooted 9,000 civilians from their homes and abandoned or leveled 21 towns and villages. It did not bring more security or more defensible lines. The Israeli security fence provided limited security. As both Gaza and Lebanon have shown, the terrorists of Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Al Aqsa Brigades et al. (supplied by Iran and Syria and encouraged by Al Qaeda) can tunnel under and fire over any security barrier.

To the contrary, the Palestinian Authority (PA) not only destroyed the greenhouses generously left to them but also did nothing to improve the economic conditions of their own people. They have not laid down their weapons to develop Palestinian society. There has been no demonstration of a willingness to live in peace with their Israeli neighbors. They did not proclaim the second "Palestinian" independent state. They have not negotiated a final durable peace. They refuse to delineate and demarcate a final internationally recognized permanent border. Indeed they openly proclaim in both the PLO and Hamas Charters that their goal is the elimination of the Jewish state. The "liberation| of Gaza, for them, is but a first stage in the final destruction of Israel.

Instead of peace, for nearly one year the PA, whether controlled by Fatah or Hamas unleashed unprovoked war on Israel. A nearly constant barrage of Kassam rockets, with ever-increasing range fell on the Israeli side of the 1949 armistice line. This rocket bombardment culminated with the brazen attack on the Israeli Defense Forces on June 25, 2006. It was a fully coordinated move with Hezbollah in Lebanon and the patrons of terror, Syria and Iran, triggering the current war.

Gaza today is a strategic threat to Israel. It has become a mini-version of the Al-Qaeda-Taliban-controlled Afghan state. This is a state that the free world, led by the United States fought to depose and destroy. Gaza has become the best armed terror base in the world. Tons of weaponry, supplies and "volunteers" have streamed into the PA controlled area. These weapons reportedly include Strella anti-aircraft missiles, Katyusha rockets, anti-tank missiles, hundreds of thousands of rifles and millions of rounds of ammunition. This has been accomplished even before the planned re-opening of Gaza's port and airport. This chain of events brings us back to the days of May 1967 as Arab forces from all over the Arab world streamed towards Israel's borders with the intent to wiping the Jewish state off the map. That policy today, is the declared goal of both Hezbollah and Iran.

Recall too, that it was from Gaza in 1948-1949, that the Egyptian army attacked the fledgling newly re-established State of Israel. Recall that it was from Gaza from 1949-1956, that the so-called fedayeen terrorists launched hundreds of attacks on Israel, triggering in part the Sinai-Suez War of 1956. Recall that it was from Gaza that United Nations "peacekeepers" -- an international force -- was expelled in May 1967 and helped trigger the Six Day War. To return to the status quo ante means continued war at the time and place of the aggressor's choosing.

What is Israel to do as the current war continues? It must re-establish the deterrence it had in the past. Under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter Israel has the legitimate right of self-defense of its citizens and territory. To deal with the unprovoked war of aggression, Israel needs to take strategic military action. Israel should announce to the world that any act of aggression be it a terrorist act or a rocket attack would be met by an immediate massive air, sea, and ground response, not a "proportional" one. In the case of Gaza it would focus "total war" on the 5 kilometers adjacent to the Israeli frontier and would be followed by permanent annexation of that piece of territory. If such attacks continue from further inside Gaza, an additional 5 kilometers should be destroyed and annexed and so on as long as the PA aggression continues. Given Gaza's unique geography, it could be rolled up like a tube of toothpaste. The terrorist infrastructure would be rolled back into a smaller and smaller area. This would be the price paid by the terrorist aggressors. Any population displaced by aggressive acts of the PA would be the responsibility of the PA terror regime and its Arab-Muslim supporters, like Syria and Iran.

Recall that under international law, Gaza is still disputed territory. It never belonged to any nation state. Under international law the principle of ex injuria jus non oritur (right cannot originate from wrong) applies. An aggressor must be punished. This was done after World War II to both Germany and Japan, both of which lost territory permanently. It should apply to Gaza.

Such a firm Israeli policy will demonstrate to the Palestinian people that their political leadership has led them on a continued path of war and terrorism. There will be a political and territorial price to pay for that continuation. If the Arabs and their Muslim supporters do not wish to be killed they need to stop their incessant warfare against Israel.

Dr. Steve Carol is Professor of History (retired), Senior Fellow Center for Advanced Middle East Studies ( ) and Official Historian "Middle East Radio Forum" ( He lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. Contact him at

This article was submitted August 13, 2006.


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