Few are aware that just as the intense rocketing of Israel’s metropolitan areas
was ramped up, the Kerem Shalom crossing to the Gaza Strip was reopened early
last week. Trucks laden with foodstuffs and supplies were allowed through to
those who were lobbing missiles at Israeli civilians.
consignments didn’t only serve noncombatants but were seized by the combatants
and allocated as they saw fit.
Now that a cease-fire is in place, this
travesty surely should prompt a comprehensive collective rethink among
Nowhere else in the history of armed conflict was there ever a
situation in which a combatant side looked after its mortal enemy’s welfare, fed
it, supplied it with essentials and powered it with
Invariably, the reverse is true. Combatants besiege enemies,
seek to starve them into submission and to disable their ability to fight. That
is the norm of warfare – most especially vis-à-vis aggressive antagonists who
persistently stoke the furnaces of hostility and relentlessly make civilians
their primary targets.
But despite a dozen years of assorted barrages
from Gaza – punctuated by particularly severe episodes, as we witnessed only
days ago – Israel makes sure that Gazans are well fed and lack nothing
The bizarre outcome is that we sustain and reinforce, at the
expense of Israeli taxpayers, the very terrorists who aim to wipe out these
This is counter-intuitive in the extreme. Moreover, the
world does not acknowledge our peculiar largesse, one that forcefully grates
against our fundamental interests.
Despite shipments of basic commodities
to Gaza, we are pilloried as imposers of blockades and creators of humanitarian
crises –nonexistent though they are – in the Strip.
As trucks laden with
goods crossed from Israel into Gaza, the Hamas narrative was only underscored.
Although our power plant in Ashkelon facilitates the continued manufacture,
import, upkeep and deployment of more missiles, Gazans fired at that very power
Something is wrong with this picture. It has been an acute anomaly
for years, but it became all the more insufferable as the entire country from
Tel Aviv south was viciously bombarded, with the undisguised aim being the
premeditated mass murder of Israeli noncombatants.
Why should these
attacked Israelis continue to aid and abet their implacable enemies? Our
supplies to Gaza help wage war against us. Why should Israelis be expected and
required to look after their enemies? Would any such demand be put to any other
nation under concerted lethal fire? All this is exacerbated by the Palestinians’
consistent underlying ideology that perceives attacks on Israeli civilians as a
God-given right but which denounces Israeli selfdefense – no matter how sterile
and pinpointed its intention – as illegitimate and a war crime. That is the
belief of Gaza’s masses, and that elementary justification of terrorism cannot
be rooted out via surgical air strikes.
The population in Gaza needs to
understand that there is a price for its complicity in the attacks on their
At the very least this ought to mean – even after
the cease-fire – that we cannot continue to take care of our enemies’ daily
On the one hand, our air strikes were geared to take out terrorist
infrastructure, yet our other hand, we buttressed that very infrastructure.
Official Israel clearly dreaded the backlash of world opinion.
undermines our ability to defeat or even to significantly dent Gaza’s terrorist
infrastructure for the long haul.
Without a thorough revamp of mind-sets
here, operation Pillar of Defense may well yield tactical short-term benefits,
but it will not make a strategic difference further down the line. A
multiplicity of cogent rationalizations existed against a ground invasion of
Gaza, but there is nothing nearly as compelling against beginning a true and
final disengagement from Gaza.
Instead of strengthening those who do
their utmost to destroy us, it is high time we quit being suckers. It is also
time to disconnect Gazans from our power grid, telephone and communication
services (for which, inter alia, they never pay). Maintaining the absurd status
quo heaps folly upon folly.