Friday, August 19, 2005

What's Next

The Israel withdrawal from Gaza is a unilateral move, and it is not the first concession that has been made to the Palestinians. According to many in the media, the next step also belongs to Israel. The question is always, "what must Israel do next?"

Has Israel ever benefitted from its concessions? Charles Krauthammer:
We are not talking ancient history here; we are talking the past 12 years. Under Oslo, Israel made massive, near-suicidal concessions: bringing the PLO back to life, installing Yasser Arafat in power in the West Bank and Gaza, permitting him to arm militia after militia, and ultimately offering him (at Camp David 2000) the first Palestinian state in history, with a shared Jerusalem and total Israeli withdrawal from 95 percent of the formerly occupied territories (with Israel giving up some of its own territory to make the Palestinians whole).

How were these concessions met? With a savage terrorist war that killed 1,000 Israelis and maimed thousands more.

The Gaza withdrawal is not the beginning but the end. Apart from perhaps some evacuations of outlying settlements on the West Bank, it is the end of the concession road for Israel. And it is the beginning of the new era of self-sufficiency and separation in which Israel ensures its security not by concessions but by fortification, barrier creation, realism and patient waiting.

Waiting for the first-ever genuine Palestinian concessions. Waiting for the Palestinians to honor the promises -- to recognize Israel and renounce terrorism -- that they solemnly made at Oslo and brazenly betrayed. That's the next step. Without it, nothing happens.
(Emphasis mine.)