If Israel was encouraging our aliyah, it would have let its army achieve genuine peace with dignity.
More than a million Israeli citizens in the Negev would enjoy the same protection and security the rest of Israel has. A new oleh might not have to fear traveling to Israeli cities, such as Beer Sheva, Ashkelon, and Ashdod. How might a new oleh sing our national anthem, “lihiyot am chafshi b’artzeinu” – to be a free nation in our land – knowing that a ghetto mentality still exists in the state of Israel?
I hope that there is a place for me in Israel. Not being a leftist, a liberal, or a secular Jew, I never advocated a two-state solution or embraced the Oslo accords. I remain disheartened by this hudna, or truce. Perhaps I should adhere to the hackneyed refrain suggesting Americans not offer advice to Israel. Ironically, this was not communicated to Secretary of State Clinton last week.
From my limited point of view, the construction of fences, walls, portable bomb shelters, Iron Domes, and bubbles against rocket attacks only imprisons Israel within its borders. Israel’s aggressive Arab neighbors in Gaza and Lebanon never needed to build such fences, walls, and shelters to protect their citizens. I thought David’s capital, Jerusalem, dictated Israeli policy, not America’s DC.
Israel’s dependence on world opinion for self-validation is weakening its resolve. After years of suffering indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza, the mere fear of no “peace accord” with Egypt was sufficient motivation for no ground assault and Israel declaring a cease-fire? Above all, America’s “rock solid” commitment to Israel made Egypt the enforcer – the same Egypt that would not protect the Israeli consulate in Cairo. Political turmoil and unrest has rendered Egypt incapable of protecting its own military installations in the Sinai, let alone enforcing a hudna in Gaza.
Israel maintains a strong military capacity. Operation Pillar of Defense shot down more than 85 percent of incoming rockets over Israeli urban centers. Nevertheless, how can this operation be called a success when the enemy was neither eliminated nor deterred? Israel allowed its political and financial capitals to be targeted; an even worse effect was in decreasing the nation’s morale. Thousands of Israeli soldiers sat helplessly near the Gaza fence for days, witnessing hundreds of missiles flying over them toward their homes and families.
IDF soldiers were demoralized after being trained for a mission they weren’t permitted to execute. In fact, the operation emasculated IDF soldiers to the extent that they are now requesting bomb shelters for their IDF bases.
Missile interceptors systems such as the Arrow, the Iron Dome or even David’s Sling will not compensate for Israel’s underlying weakness. Peace is achieved only with strength. Israel’s accepting a ceasefire while under attack disheartened its traumatized citizens in the south, who demanded a ground assault. They expected no less after living huddled in bomb shelters for days.
Similarly, the acceptance of a hudna, indicating a temporary calming (hu-du is a noun that means quiet) guarantees greater danger and destruction in months to come. Now, Hamas may maintain its abhorrent charter and genocidal goals without disarming.
A ground assault would have earned a respectable cease-fire – a “waqaf itlaq annar” – rather than a hudna. Not surprisingly, none of the Gaza terrorist factions responsible for launching hundreds of missiles signed the hudna. Immediately after it went into effect, 20 rockets flew into southern Israel. Historically, hudnas are short-lived.
More cease-fire violations seem certain to follow.
I remain apprehensive about United States guarantees that no missiles will be fired against Israel from Gaza. American diplomacy appears to have protected Hamas in the same way that it protected Hamas during the Cast Lead operation in 2009. We just saw the expeditious smuggling of Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal out of Gaza into Cairo for negotiations and then to Qatar.
To perpetuate the Arab-Israeli conflict, America also protected Hizbulla in Lebanon in 2006. The United States also resurrected Yassir Arafat repeatedly, whether by moving him from Beirut to Tunisia then back again for the Madrid peace talks in 1991 or for the Oslo accords in 1993 or for the so-called final status talks in Ramalla in 2001.
After Israel’s military victory in 1967, the U.S. government sought to prevent Israel from defeating its Arab enemies on the battlefield. American diplomacy during the Yom Kippur War would have to save the Egyptian army from collapse. For Washington, the existence of Arab terrorist factions funded by Arab dictatorship nations ensures a status quo of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The present situation makes Israel’s existence more perilous and unstable than before.
American diplomacy will soon resume as Israel pays a far greater price within its heartland during its military sequel.