No matter how much denial is smugly stuffed down our throats by homegrown
swaggering braggarts, any and every territory which Israel has ever ceded to its
still-vital and still-implacable enemies became a breeding ground for festering
terror and aggression against the still-vulnerable Jewish state.
stupefying cerebral contortions to deny that this was unequivocally demonstrated
in Lebanon (where Hezbollah mushroomed to monstrous proportions after Ehud
Barak’s unilateral midnight flight of 2000), in Judea and Samaria (whose cities
Israel relinquished post-Oslo), in the Gaza Strip (which in 2005 we ditched for
the third time via Ariel Sharon’s disastrous disengagement) and in Sinai, whose
border with Israel now looms as the most potentially explosive.
of denial-neurosis can belittle this. Each Israeli retreat, without a single
solitary exception, comes back to haunt us with vicious
Reckless retreat allowed Hezbollah rockets to reach Hadera
(they can probably do harm further south too). Reckless retreat allowed Jenin
and its sisters to fill our streets, markets and buses with
Reckless retreat allowed Gaza to rocket Ashkelon, Ashdod,
Beersheba, Yavne, Gedera and more. Rishon Lezion was put on
Nevertheless, incomprehensively, a self-destructive denial
syndrome was sanctified over and over as Israel’s nationally sanctioned policy.
Withdrawing from territory has become a cyclical compulsion for Israel – nearly
as old as the state itself.
We got into the routine already in 1949 at
the end of our War of Independence – after seven Arab armies invaded newborn
Israel with hoarsely broadcast genocidal intent. By the time their blusterous
belligerence was thwarted at great cost – 6,000 Israeli dead out of a population
of 600,000 – the improvised army of the tiny, terrifyingly out manned and
terrifyingly outgunned Israel ended up controlling a chunk of the Sinai
Peninsula. Incredibly against the odds, infant Israel had defeated the mighty
Egyptian army that moved menacingly toward Tel Aviv with the avowed goal of
obliterating the upstart “Zionist entity.”
But Israel withdrew in the
framework of the Armistice Agreement (whose green-tinted non-border demarcations
begot the now-hallow “Green Line”). In no time, Sinai was filled to the brim
with military-hardware and marauders called Fedayeen.
After seven years
of bleeding, Israel reentered Sinai again in 1956. At that time, Israel also
took the adjacent ever-threatening Gaza Strip that jutted along the coast in the
direction of Israel’s dense population centers.
However, the fruits of
1956’s stunning victory were surrendered in 1957 at Washington’s
It was the second time Israel departed from Sinai and the
first time it abandoned Gaza. After regaining dominion, Egypt’s head-honcho
Gamal Abdel Nasser perpetrated gruesome purges and frightened Gazans off ever
cooperating with Israelis.
Thereafter, Sinai was supposed to be overseen
by UN forces, but in 1967 Nasser effortlessly booted them out to facilitate his
imminent attack on Israel.
That spawned the Six Day War in which he again
lost Sinai and the Gaza strip.
In 1979, though, Israel and Egypt signed
their peace treaty which obligated Israel to give up every inch of Sinai.
Israel’s pullback was completed in 1982. Things were never quite nifty after
that, despite prodigious bamboozlement by serial denial merchants.
Beduin were scarcely likely to toe Cairo’s line. Lawlessness and smuggling are
their livelihood and their insubordination went chronically unchecked, under all
Egyptian regimes. Any attempts to control them were met by violent
International agreements made no impression on the tribal
gangs that de facto rule Sinai.
Similarly unimpressed is Egyptian
bureaucracy, the regime notwithstanding. Its super-snarled red tape effectively
stymies all governmental executive decisions. Even topmost policy edicts are
unrecognizably ground down as they’re subjected to arbitrary whims enforced
along the way by inflated cadres of sluggish officials. Egypt being Egypt,
Cairo’s commands are never dependably implemented.
Disorderly domains of
this sort irresistibly beckon al-Qaida – be it in Afghanistan, Sudan, Yemen,
Eritrea etc. Sinai fits well into this pattern. Assorted jihadist extravaganzas
– from targeting tourists to blowing up gas pipelines – proliferated in the
peninsula’s opportune setting. But the Arab Spring has opened new vistas for the
forces of obdurate Islam and enhanced preexisting ones. Foreign firebrands,
whose strings are pulled from Gazan control centers, are flocking in.
fact that the Muslim Brotherhood now holds sway in Egypt makes little
difference. In the world of Osama bin Laden’s successor, Egyptian Ayman al-
Zawahiri, even Cairo’s current headliners are categorized as infidels because he
alleges they make nice to the West. It’s all a question of gradation. What to us
appears inherently anti-Western, from Zawahiri’s perspective is not nearly
There’s more than a little irony here. New president Mohamed
Morsy’s Brotherhood credentials didn’t spare him from the onus of having to
replicate the repressive crackdowns practiced by his despised predecessors. He
cannot afford failure to assert authority as it’ll allow al-Qaida and linked
outfits to make mockery of him. This is doubly ironic because Morsy’s Cairo had
ridiculed pinpointed Israeli warnings about havoc in Sinai.
now is whether Morsy’s belated muscle- flexing will suffice to push the
rampaging genie back in the bottle. It’s hard to foretell, especially as Morsy
isn’t focusing exclusively on Sinai’s chaos.
Inter alia, he has exploited
the crisis to settle scores with Egypt’s generals as well as to sack some
His get-tough stance has won Morsy accolades from
Washington because the superficial picture is of an elected leader wresting
control from a military junta. The trouble with this latest manifestation of
Obamaesque logic is that the generals are considerably more pro-Western than
Morsy, despite Zawahiri‘s animus toward lesser religious zealots.
again the current White House resident’s proclivities appear inherently
anti-Western. Washington’s embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood’s hegemony is all
the more perplexing, considering that Morsy hardly evinces liberality by
usurping absolute powers for himself and dictating who may and who may not run a
This has less to do with democracy as we conceive of it (and
as Obama should) than with Morsy’s vindictive payback for press portrayals of
him as lackluster and wishy-washy. Thus he has ordered the confiscation of all
issues of Al-Dustour.
Things south of our border are out of control way
beyond what’s evident and understood among the mesmerized democracies. A couple
of weeks ago, for instance, mobs ran riot in Cairo’s posh hotel district sowing
devastation in their wake. The aloof foreign media didn’t so much as report
this. It just doesn’t get it.
This holds true for the Syrian upheavals as
well. We cannot precisely predict their long-range implications, but odds are
that Sinai’s prototype of Islamic mayhem will be reproduced on our northeastern
doorstep. The very thought that we were urged to hand over the Golan to the
Damascus despot of the day should send shivers down our spines. Bringing Syrian
tanks directly to Lake Kinneret’s shores was supposed to be good for
Additional existential dangers were somehow supposed to alleviate the
existential dangers already bedeviling us. More security, preached omniscient
know-it-alls, will be achieved by critically compromising our
We plebeians may have exhibited benighted skepticism, but our
self-assured left wing couldn’t be bothered by the commoners’ common
While we can thank our lucky stars that the Assads (both father
and son) proved too pig-headed to avail themselves of our misguided largess, we
may also wonder why there’s no public breast-beating by withdrawal-advocates –
not even a wee semi-guilty tap on the upper torso. Hezbollah and Hamas
predations, the pullback-promoters lead us to believe, resulted from recurrent,
unavoidable natural disasters – a force majeure, which nobody could forecast,
much less prevent.
Yet the Kassams, Grads and mortar shells unleashed on
civilians should have been instantly recognized as inevitable fallout from the
follies of Oslo and its disengagement derivative. We were promised the reverse.
Just before the Likud’s May 2004 referendum on disengagement (the one Ariel
Sharon adamantly demanded, ignominiously lost and brazenly ignored), the
then-premier assured his electorate that “disengagement is good for our national
defense. It’ll enable us to pursue an uncompromising war against terror. It’ll
give us a free hand to combat terrorists. Disengagement will improve the IDF’s
ability to strike back and will confer legitimacy upon its
Do Israel’s voluble peace-pushers still recall that
undertaking? Odds are they’re still in denial.
Already a century ago,
Sigmund Freud focused on the denial aberration, defining it as “the rejection of
what is too difficult to admit, while simultaneously insisting that the
unpalatable truth is actually false,” the hell with empirical evidence. Freud
dubbed this “simple denial” of what are indisputable facts.
on the theme is “minimization.” Here the facts aren’t spurned outright, but are
rationalized, so that only their grim ramifications are denied. The final
variant is “projection,” where both facts and their consequences are
acknowledged but responsibility is assiduously denied and attributed to
Our Left’s propaganda should make all the above painfully
Those who obsessively urge us to keep retreating will never
confess to egregious error, yet they’ll blame the rest of us for not having
dutifully carried out their recommendations. In the end it’s all our fault – the
fault of those of us who steadfastly refused to be hoodwinked, the fault of
those who warned that ostensible Israeli weakness is bound to boost fanatics,
the fault of those who foresaw the debacle only to be demonized as warmongers
But it gets worse. When all aforementioned denial
options are exhausted, there’s always one final refuge left – “denial of
denial.” It’s the ultimate major impediment to correcting harmful
Essentially, denial of denial bolsters confidence that
nothing whatever needs be changed.
Here, of course, we enter the related
realm of self deception, where al-Qaida can be blithely banished from blissful
daydreams, the sort that leftist dogma peddlers strive to imperiously impose on
all recidivist naysayers and obstructionist denial-resisters.