A total of NIS 3,514,000,000 - no, this is not a typo: Three billion, five hundred and fourteen million shekels (roughly $800 million) have been transferred to the Palestinian Authority in the form of tax and VAT returns in 2005 only. Before the disengagement plan was carried out. Yet in the summer of 2005 we "left Gaza." The problem is that in 2006 we transferred NIS 3,377,000,000 to the PA - more than we did before the disengagement.
This is only an example, and not the only one, of course. After we "disengaged" we nonetheless continued to provide the Palestinians with electricity and water, while also giving them jobs. What did we get in return? A new dawn; a bloody dawn.
While the missiles continue to rain down on us in the southern town of Sderot, we must start asking ourselves honestly: Is the Zionist vision about the establishment of a Palestinian state at any price? Is Hamas the Palestinian partner that can guarantee coexistence with the State of Israel in the long-run, or rather, its gradual elimination? Do the citizens of Israel, and particularly those who reside in outlaying areas in the north and south, have to continue paying the price of caprices originating in Lebanon and Palestinian areas, which are home to murderous organizations that strive to eliminate us?
Are we so vulnerable that we are supposed to accept the situation the way it is now and continue being hostages of ourselves based on our own choices?
No. We really don't have to do that. We do not have the historic, national, or moral right, to leave the situation the way it is now for our children and subject the Jewish people's only state to such direct and substantial danger.
Time for different strategy
Ever since the beginning of the Oslo process, the State of Israel took it upon itself, in an innocent and honest manner, to assume direct responsibility for resolving the Palestinian problem, while most of the Arab world resorted to a double standard and undermined any possible arrangement under the surface, while fanning the fans of hatred and creating obstacles above the surface.
This innocence reached its climax in the "disengagement" plan, which led us to leave town while still paying a price to this very day.
Well, today, after 14 years, the time has come to adopt a different strategy in the face of this problem. The Palestinian people must realize that there is a grave diplomatic, economic, and security price tag to their ongoing choice to pursue the road of terrorism, and recently to elect Hamas and Iran to lead them.
The Palestinians must realize that their dream to establish a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip along with a safe passage through the State of Israel is facing the risk of being shelved. The Arabs must realize that they will end up having to deal with the Palestinian problem, and that the dummies ithey created in the form of Hamas and Hizbullah are about to turn on them.
I expect that all those who backed the disengagement plan will also back the "real disengagement plan," which would lead to a strategic turning point, and vote in favor of true separation between friend and foe. There's nothing for us in Gaza? Well, Gaza can expect nothing from us either.
The writer is a Knesset member on behalf of Yisrael Beiteinu and the former Shin Bet deputy director