Monday, August 15, 2005

Stripping Gaza

My response to Hugh Fitzgerald (Jihad Watch Board Vice President) on the Gaza Withdrawal. His initial article can be found: here.

"(The Mandate's Preamble states that the Mandatory authority, Great Britain, had to "encourage close Jewish settlement on the land.")"

Yes, on the land. But not specifically anywhere and not specifically in Gaza. And if you're going to quote the Leage, I can show you the UN and how Gaza isn't part of Israel in the 1947 partition plan.

"And of course, if that were not enough, all the rules of warfare and postwar settlement -- the same rules that entitled Italy to keep the Algo Adige (quondam Sudtirol, with a population that was 97% ethnic German) after World War I, or allowed Poland to keep part of what was East Prussia, or Russia to keep Koenigsburg (now Kaliningrad), or the French to firmly incorporate, once and for all, Alsace-Lorraine, or for that matter have allowed the United States to become what it has become, including California and the rest -- these rules do not suddenly cease to apply when it comes to Israel's victory in the Six-Day War."

Fine, but none of those place also kept the land unannexed and militarily occupied indefinitely. Leaving the people living there as non-citizens in some limbo non-state is wrong. Had Israel had the ability to annex the land and incorporate the Palestinians into their country, today's situation would not exist. The fact that Israel cannot do this is right up there among the big problems.

"As for the argument about "demography," in what way does the destruction of what can be considered akin to the Roman "marches" ( i.e., the outlying areas that are part military encampment, and part civilian population, designed to protect from the hordes without) neutralize the ability of Arabs to overbreed, for deliberately political reasons, in order to swamp the Israelis?"

It cuts Gaza out of the equation. Were Israel to stay in Gaza and directly lord over the Palestinians there, it is as if Israel is undemocratically controlling people who had no say in their government. De facto second citizenship. Once Gaza is on its own and Israel isn't involved in it, the number of Palestinians in Gaza is no longer relevant in any future demographic struggle. Israel is giving up the land and giving up having to account for over a million Palestinians which it might need to naturalize if she were to annex the land.

The Israelis of Gaza have no future there. There is no foreseeable way that Israel could possibly annex that land. Can you think of one? Kill all the Palestinians or maybe force them all to leave? Right. Or Israel can take the land, but not give the Palestinians the vote making them de jure second class citizens. Or Israel can indeed make them citizens, but thus effectively destroying the state as a Jewish majority democracy. You either destroy the soul of Israel by making her do terrible acts (which I cannot conscience, how about you?) or remove Israel as effectively Jewish - thus making her pointless.

I understand the safety concerns and I agree they may be valid, but the current status quo is untenable and doomed to failure. What then is the reason to keep Israelis there? As some holding pawn to trade in some future negotiations? It's not worth the costs for such measly a pawn. The Palestinians know just as well as the Israelis that Israel cannot keep that land. And the costs are high! High in military costs to guard each of those villages and high in human costs because people die there.

Yes, look at what we are losing in pulling out and be sad for that, but look ahead for a bit and critically think about what it is exactly that we would gain by staying. The Israeli disengagement is inevitable. It is far better to do it sooner than later and far better to do it on our terms than on someone else's.

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