Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Cassandra Vivit

Cassandra (also called Alexandra) is the Trojan seeress who uttered true prophecies, but lacking the power of persuasion, was never believed. So it is with Daniel Pipes. This is today's column in USA Today.

The Gaza Withdrawal: A Democracy Killing Itself

by Daniel Pipes
USA Today
August 15, 2005

[This article is presented as an "Opposing View" to USA Today's own editorial, "Gaza pullout begins with extremists poised for trouble."]

The Israeli government's removal of its own citizens from Gaza ranks as one of the worst errors ever made by a democracy. This step is the worse for being self-imposed, not the result of pressure from Washington. When the Bush administration first heard in December 2003 that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had unilaterally decided to pull all soldiers and civilians from Gaza, it responded coolly. Months of persuasion were needed to get the White House to embrace the initiative.

The harm will be three-fold: within Israel, in relations with the Palestinians, and internationally. Sharon won the prime ministry in early 2003 by electorally crushing an opponent who espoused unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. Sharon declared back then: "A unilateral withdrawal is not a recipe for peace. It is a recipe for war." For unknown reasons, in late 2003 he adopted his opponent's policy of leaving Gaza, thereby reneging on his promises, betraying his supporters, and inflicting lasting damage on Israeli public life. To Palestinian rejectionists, an Israeli retreat under fire sends an unambiguous signal: Terrorism works. Just as the Israeli departure from Lebanon five years earlier provoked new violence, so too will fleeing Gaza. Palestinians ignore all the verbiage about "disengagement" and see it for what it really is, an Israeli retreat under fire. Indeed, Palestinian leaders have already broadcast their intent to deploy Gaza-like aggression to pry the West Bank and Jerusalem from Israeli control. Should that campaign succeed, Haifa and Tel Aviv are next, after which Israel itself disappears.

The Sharon government has also defaulted on its obligations to its allies in the war on terror. As other states, such as Great Britain, finally show signs of getting more serious about counterterrorism, Israel's politicians release hundreds of convicted terrorists and retreat under fire from Gaza, encouraging more terrorism.

Israel's mistakes are not unique for a democracy – French appeasement of Germany in the 1930s or American incrementalism in Vietnam come to mind – but none other jeopardized the very existence of a people.

"Where are you going? You will bring conflagration back with you. How great the flames are that you are seeking over these waters, you do not know." [Cassandra to Paris. Ovid, Heroides 16,120]

Cassandra Warns of the Trojan Horse Posted by Picasa


Tzvee said...

I cannot imagine a more ridiculous statement: "Israel is making a mistake that jeapardizes the very existence of a people." Beyond belief that a sane person could make such a remark. In fact the opposite is true. The evacuation protects 8000 people who were in jeapardy. Isolation of the Arab terrorists in Gaza protects millions of Israelis from harm. Period.

Jeffrey said...

ou are right in the limited sense. However, Dr. Pipes' point is that leaving Gaza open the door to turning the strip into a terrorist arsenal and a base of operations for Hizbullah an Al-qaeda, both of whom have announced their intentions to do just that. Furthermore, by giving w/o receiving anything in return, Israel has set a precedent that sends it headlong back to the '67 borders (including Jerusalem). all military intelligence reports agree that a renewed war will occur from the West Bank in the next few months in order to push out all 400,000 settlers. As Bernard Lewish points out in, What went Wrong, this was the absolutely wrong way to deal with the Arab world.

Anonymous said...

מִי-הָאִישׁ הֶחָכָם וְיָבֵן אֶת-זֹאת, וַאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר פִּי-יְהוָה אֵלָיו וְיַגִּדָהּ; עַל-מָה אָבְדָה הָאָרֶץ, נִצְּתָה כַמִּדְבָּר מִבְּלִי עֹבֵר.

יב וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה--עַל-עָזְבָם אֶת-תּוֹרָתִי, אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לִפְנֵיהֶם; וְלֹא-שָׁמְעוּ בְקוֹלִי, וְלֹא-הָלְכוּ בָהּ. יג וַיֵּלְכוּ, אַחֲרֵי שְׁרִרוּת לִבָּם--וְאַחֲרֵי, הַבְּעָלִים, אֲשֶׁר לִמְּדוּם, אֲבוֹתָם.

Jeffrey said...

I don't disagree. That's why we need to redouble our efforts and re-judaize the country, before it's too late.
That, however, means leaving the ghettos, developing a common cultural language with the Hilonim and using it to teach Torah and to listen to them.

settler@zion.org said...

Did the prophet Yirmiahu and his disciple Baruch ben Neriah fail in their mission to "develop a common cultural language" and in "listening to them"?