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Is "Disengagement" promoting security, democracy and the economy?

Yoram Ettinger- Tuesday 16th Aug 2005

1. CONTINUED DECLINE IN ISRAELI PUBLIC SUPPORT OF "DISENGAGEMENT". According to August 12, 2005 Dialogue Polling, commissioned by the Dovish daily, Ha'aretz, 45% support "Disengagement", down from 55% two months ago, in spite of the total support for "disengagement" by Israel's media.

2. ONE HALF OF ISRAEL'S DEFENSE BUDGET. The Head of Bank of Israel (Israel's Fed.), Prof. Stanley Fisher, cautions that the cost of "disengagement" will be significantly higher than appropriated, and will probably preclude the achievement of 2006 economic goals (Ma'ariv, August 15, 2005). Adding Fisher's assessment to the cost of replacing the water resources in northern Samaria, one reaches - at least - $3.5BN. It amounts to one half of Israel's defense budget.

3. GOVERNMENT EXPECTS MORE MISSILES AND TERRORISM. 290MN Sheqels appropriated to improve defense of Kibbutzim and towns adjacent to Gaza. Mayors are advised on the administration of missile-plagued population. Sderot's public schools are fortified to withstand Palestinian missiles.

4. DOVISH THINK TANK EXPECTS MORE TERRORISM. Tel Aviv's University's Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies projects exacerbated terrorist activity in Judea & Samaria as a result of "disengagement", with Gaza as the logistic headquarters.

5. AN UNCONTROLLABLE TERRORIST FLOW TO GAZA. The 1993 Oslo Accord snatched 20,000 Palestinian terrorists from oblivion in Yemen, Iraq, Sudan, Lebanon and Tunisia, establishing the largest terrorist base in the world in Israel's heartland. "Disengagement" would exacerbate the flow of Palestinian terrorists, by relinquishing Israel's control over the access to Gaza. Hizballah operatives are expected to arrive in higher numbers. The PA/PLO negotiates the transfer of thousands of Palestinian terrorists from Lebanon to Gaza. Lebanon's government is eager to rid itself of the 400,000 Palestinians, who have been a permanent source of civil strives, pro-Syrian subversive activities and crime, since the 1970 arrival of the PLO to Lebanon. A larger terrorist reinforcement could emanate from Jordan and Syria. Iran, Russia, China, North Korea, and other traditional allies of the PA/PLO are expec! ted to take advantage of the new access to the strategically pertinent eastern flank of the Mediterranean.

6. REDUCING FRICTION AND MANAGING CONFLICT? Wishful-thinking has been crashed against Palestinian conviction that terrorism - rather than negotiation - has produced Israeli retreat from Gaza and northern Samaria. "Disengagement" has fueled HOPE-DRIVEN Palestinian terrorism (for further Jewish vacillation), which has been vindicated by a series of Israeli concessions to terrorism, initiated by the 1993 Oslo Accord and its offshoots (Hebron, Wye, Road Map and "Disengagement").

7. PRESIDENT BUSH OPPOSES "DISENGAGEMENT" IN IRAQ BUT ENCOURAGES IT IN GAZA? In his August 13, 2005 weekly radio address he stated: "[The terrorists] are trying to shake our will. They want to force free nations to retreat so they can topple governments across the Middle East, establish Taliban-like regimes in their place, and turn the Middle East into a launching pad for attacks against free people. The terrorists will fail. Because we are fighting a murderous ideology with a clear strategy, we're staying on the offensive in Iraq, Afghanistan and other fronts in the war on terror, fighting terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home. When terrorists spend their days and nights struggling to avoid death or capture, they're less capable of arming and training and plotting new attacks on America..." That which the President observes in Iraq - 6,000 miles away from the US - is doubly appropriate for Gaza, Judea & Samaria - contiguous to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa.

8. "Once a country allows its foreign policy to be determined by terrorism, it has given the game away... No self-respecting government would allow that to happen..." (Australian Prime Minister John Howard, July 21, 2005 press conference, London).



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