Haim Misgav
'Land for peace' a fantasy
Lebanon pullout, Gaza disengagement make it clear that withdrawals don't pay off
Someone over at the Prime Minister's Office thinks that if he disseminates Ehud Olmert's willingness to bid the Golan Heights farewell, the media will protect him and guarantee that he completes a full term in office; Israel's citizens will forgive him for his foolish acts during the last war in Lebanon and forget the endless police investigations he faces, while treating him as they did Ariel Sharon - full impunity in exchange for full withdrawal.


Yet this won't happen again, we should hope. The capitulation at Gush Katif and expulsion of thousands of families from their homes will not repeat. Neither for the peace offered by Syria, nor in exchange for anything else. Even if Iran and Hizbullah and Hamas and al-Qaeda promise that their members will become Jewish after the withdrawal, it won't happen – that is, we should hope it won't happen.


Past experience shows us that there is no such thing – "land for peace" only exists in fantasies. It didn't happen in south Lebanon after Ehud Barak fled, and it didn't happen in the Gaza Strip after Ariel Sharon's "disengagement" move." It also didn't happen after the withdrawal from the entire Sinai Peninsula and ruined Yamit and other communities.


The Egyptians indeed refrain from shooting at us for the time being, but everything is temporary and fragile – and will likely explode
in our face one of these days. The giant Egyptian army trains for war against the only enemy it has – and it could happen much faster than what many think. It would be enough to see a regime change in Cairo, as happened to the Persian Shah, and everything will change for the worse for us. From a seeming ally, Egypt, just like Iran, will turn into a bitter enemy that closes in on us from the south and joins the Hamas terror brigades.


There is no doubt that Ehud Olmert also knows that withdrawal from the Golan Heights is not good for Israel. Syrian troops on the shores of the Sea of Galilee would encourage the Arabs in the Galilee region to demand autonomy, and those who think that this would put an end to the demands of the Arabs in other areas of Israel are making a grave mistake.


Collapse could be painful, quick

Any kind of withdrawal, in Samaria, or Judea, or the Golan Heights would only reinforce the Arab sense that the Jews don't really believe in their right for the country and boost the Arab appetite. The knowledge that each additional territorial concession weakens Israel and makes it more vulnerable will certainly also make the Arabs more demanding.


And eventually a day will come where we can no longer refuse any demand; we won't be able to reject the demand to bring back the millions of "refugees" to the places they fled in 1948; or give back territory occupied during that war; or to change Israel's definition from a Jewish State that serves as a national home to the Jewish people to a multinational state where the Arab majority dictates ghetto-like rules to the Jewish minority.


All this has been stated before, even before the Oslo Accords were signed with murderers who did not stop massacring us since then, yet the leftist camp doesn't let go. Everything is enlisted in order to annul the "mistake" made by David Ben Gurion 60 years ago. The celebrations planned for the upcoming Independence Day won't help. If we fail to show determination and stamina we can expect a collapse that would be bitter, painful, and quick.


One thrust of the sword could put an end to a 2,000-year-old dream that is only starting to be realized now. Those who fail to understand this, or who think that they can buy a bit more time in power in exchange for a little more territory, are gambling on our future.


Dr. Haim Misgav is an attorney and lecturer of law at the Netanya Academic College


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