Regarding the pullout from Gaza, I’d just say the following:
1.From what I can tell, Israeli society is generally left of center. Many Jewish thinkers are militantly humanistic.
It’s often been observed that Marxism is a secularized Messianism.
This is the only way I can account for the desperate optimism of so many Israeli Jews.
Time and again, Israeli Jews have made risky concessions, only to be rewarded for their good faith overtures by waves of suicide-bombers.
2.To my knowledge, the Israeli gov’t has, in times past, been instrumental in promoting settlements as a way of extending and securing its de facto borders.
The reversal of policy is naturally viewed by not a few as a betrayal of trust.
3.I’ve heard Michael Medved say that some of the settlements are strategically ill-situated, which renders them nearly indefensible. The settlers are surrounded and outnumbered by hostile Arabs 10-1, 100-1, 1000-1.
If the purpose of the pullback is for Israel to draw defensible borders, and to draw them on terms most favorable to her national security needs, then that strikes me as a rational policy.
4.If, on the other hand, this is yet another land-for-peace deal, then it is hopelessly and suicidally naïve.
If the Arabs can’t stand to live side-by-side a tiny Jewish minority in their midst, then they can’t stand to live side-by-side a Jewish state.
But this is really an internal affair. If that’s the will of the majority, so be it.
August 18, 2005 -- John Podhoretz states that Israel was in Gaza only because it was forced to seize the area in the '67 war, but doesn't explain why Israel was forced to do so ("A Grim Necessity," Post Opinion, Aug. 16).
Although Podhoretz argues that the decision to expel the settlers from Gaza was a democratic one, he neglects to mention that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon fired all those in his Cabinet who opposed him.
Jewish life has a long history in Gaza — the Jews were there long before Israel was renamed Palestine by the Romans.
They have turned the Gaza desert into farms and villages and have stayed despite ongoing terrorist attacks.
It will be much more difficult to defend Israel when the buffer zone of Gaza becomes a terrorist state.
The government of Israel is making a bold concession in which it's not yet receiving anything in return.
It is risking great animosity within the country — all for the hope of peace for future generations.
It's Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas' turn to do something brave that will advance the peace process.
If 1 million Arabs are citizens of Israel, why weren't the 8,500 Jews in Gaza invited by the Palestinian leadership to remain as a minority and eventually be given citizenship rights?
The world has moved on from the days of "no Irish need apply," but now liberal social activists are not fighting on behalf of the Jews being evicted.
Podhoretz talks about the Israeli retreat from Gaza as "a grim necessity," but the only grim necessity that Israel and the United States face is to defeat Islamic terror at all costs — not reward it with appeasement.
The only pseudo-Messianic phase that Podhoretz should note is that the Palestinians want to accept the state of Israel. They want to dismantle Hamas and Islamic Jihad and end hate incitement in their media and schools and Gaza will be a partner for peace.
I'll sell him the Brooklyn Bridge instead.
The pullout from Gaza does not serve Israel's needs for survival.
Whatever the future of Gaza may be, there is one inevitability.
The commentators, officials and experts who demand that Iraq become a Jeffersonian democracy overnight will, with equal eloquence and force, demand that the Arabs of Gaza be given all the time in the world to take even one step toward civilization.
Criticism for delays in development will not be leveled at the bomb-throwers and terrorist-sympathizers, but at the courageous and sacrificing Israelis and Americans.