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Alex Rose

Ally, a confused judgement

When Musk tours Gaza border kibbutz with PM, says ‘no choice but for Israel to destroy Hamas’. Billionaire shown evidence of Oct 7 atrocities, including screening of 44 minute Hamas massacre montage; itinerary included meetings with Gantz and Herzog.

Michael Oren, Ambassador, on, “This is How the Occupation Ends.” Oren’s position on a unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank may be more prophecy than advocacy.

The Foreign Minister, who was then Avigdor Lieberman – himself, nothing if not an Etgar Keret invention – had approved the choice of Michael Oren as Israel’s next ambassador to Washington.

Michael Oren is a singular, spellbinding historian. His authoritative accounts of the 1967 war and on US relations with the Mideast are second to none. He is persuasive, credible and fluent when pressing Israel’s case on world television. He is as original in thought as he is courageous in argument.

“I may be the last of the standing unilateralists”, he was reported to have said at the end of a March lecture in Georgetown University. “The only thing that can save Israel as a Jewish state is by unilaterally withdrawing our settlements from the West Bank” and waiting for a new Palestinian leadership.

Years from now, we may come to realize that Oren’s position on a unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank was more prophecy than advocacy.

In a region where the only workable solutions have something towards outrage and ultimately disappoint everyone involved; the unilateral withdrawal has this much going for it: No one wants it, except Sharon and his disciples.
Who would you believe?

We can understand that what we are experiencing now, commenced with Obama and Sharon. They both feature highly in Michael B. Oren’s book, “Ally”. From Oren’s perspective, 2 key aspects of American-Israeli relations were repudiated in the years of his service. Specifically, Oren argues that the fundamental planks of “no daylight” and “no surprises” in the bilateral relationship were selectively discarded by the Obama Administration.

Despite the repeated public pronouncements from the White House and foreign policy establish underscoring the unbreakable ties between the countries, Oren cites repeated examples in which he says this relationship was regularly undermined.

Ibrahim Gamban, Undersecretary for Political Affairs, told the Security Council on August24, 2005, Israel has demonstrated that it has the requisite maturity to do what would be required to achieve lasting peace, and the IDF has demonstrated the ability to discharge their mission with carefully calibrated restraint. Prime Minister Sharon should be commended for his determination and courage to carry out the disengagement in the face of forceful and strident internal opposition.

Homesh and 3 other northern West Bank settlements were evacuated by Israel in 2005 and an Israeli civilian presence there has been illegal ever since. On March 21, 2023, the Knesset passed a bill to revoke this ban on Israelis entering the area, removing a key barrier to the resettlement of this region.

This posed a significant symbolic and practical setback for efforts to separate Israel from the Palestinians and contravened US policy. The disengagement plan called for the unilateral withdrawal of Israeli military and civilians from the Gaza Strip, including the dismantlement of the 21 settlements in the territory, as well as the evacuation of 4 small settlements in northern Samaria: Homesh, Sa Nur, Ganim, and Kadim. The plan required evacuation and relocation of nearly 10,000 settlers, who received compensation as required by the Disengagement Plan Implementation Plan Law of February, 2005.

It was an effort to buy the Israeli government to move forward with separation from the Palestinians through unilateral action, amid a stalled peace process. Following the withdrawal, Israel continued to maintain direct control over Gaza’s air and maritime space, 6 of Gaza’s 7 land crossings, maintaining a no-go buffer zone within the territory, controlling the Palestinian population registry, while Gaza remained dependent on Israel for its water, electricity, telecommunications, and other utilities.

How does Israel’s last invasion of Gaza compare to now? Analyzing the 2014 Gaza War, the last time Israel invaded the Strip, could give a window into how the coming days and weeks will play out. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed this time to “crush” Hamas’ leadership in Gaza. But experts say winning this battle will be far more complex than in 2014. What happened then?

Hamas abducted and murdered 3 Israeli teenagers. Following on, 2 Israelis kidnapped a Palestinian teenager and slaughtered him in retaliation. Mass demonstrations broke out on both sides. Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups directed thousands of rockets into Southern Israel. In excess of 730 were intercepted by the Iron Dome, Israel’s state-of-the-art air defense system.

Israel’s missile response raised entire city blocks. Over +/-1,460 Palestinian civilians died as compared to a handful of Israelis, according to UNRWA for Palestinian refugees. With the intention of destroying Hamas’ widespread network of underground tunnels used to stow rockets, the IDF launched a ground invasion on the Strip during Aug. 7, 2014.

Until Israel and Gaza agreed to a cease-fire on August 26, the violence had spanned 50 days. Presently, in fewer than 2 weeks of battle, more Palestinian and Israeli civilians have perished than in all the fighting during 2014.

This brings us to the present with the IDF’s ground invasion. Netanyahu and his unity government are looking to capture Gaza City and end Hamas’ brutal reign of the Strip. More than 300,000 Israelis were called up.

“This ground invasion is intended to be far larger in scale,” said Tahani Mustafa, the Palestine analyst at the International Crisis Group. The 2014 Gaza War, she said, was largely confined to open areas, including farmland.

Given the tensions as fallout, following the October 7 massacre by Hamas, David Greenfield’s, “The ‘Two-State Solution is Terrorism’ provides useful insights. From the mouth of Biden during his visit to Israel and his lecture to Israelis, “We must keep pursuing peace; we must keep pursuing a path so that Israel and the Palestinian people can both live safely, in security, in dignity, and in peace. For me, it means a two-state solution.” How quaint!

We learn from Greenfield that Abbas’s actual reaction to the Hamas murder of women and children was to assert the right of the “Palestinian people to defend themselves against the terrorism of settlers and the occupation forces.”
Further, he recognizes the Two- State Solution being based on a lie. It defies history, geography, and reality. Decades of efforts to implement it have foundered on the simple fact that the issue is coexistence, not territory, and matter what impossible maps are drawn, the violence never ends because it does not originate in the wars of 1948, 1967 or 1973 in Israel’s decision to close the Gaza border once Hamas seized power or in anything that happened in the last 2 centuries.

Biden’s push for a “Two-State Solution” would hand over Gaza from one Islamic terrorist group to another. The Palestinian Authority provides payments to Hamas terrorists and their families as part of its “Pay-to-Slay” program. It celebrates their atrocities and collaborates with them.

At the end of his recent visit to Israel said, “Today marks the 7th day of the humanitarian pause in Gaza that the United States worked closely with Israel, Qatar, and Egypt to put in place. The 7th day that hostages have been freed and are returning home to their families , the 7th day that significantly more humanitarian assistance is getting into the people of Gaza who need it, and the 7th day that civilians in Gaza have been able to move to safer areas.”

A day later, we read:

Secretary of State Blinken says, “Today’s deadly shooting underscores need to remove Hamas.” The terrorists who carried out the terror attack in Jerusalem were identified as East Jerusalem residents with ties to Hamas”!

About the Author
Alex Rose was born in South Africa in 1935 and lived there until departing for the US in 1977 where he spent 26 years. He is an engineering consultant. For 18 years he was employed by Westinghouse until age 60 whereupon he became self-employed. He was also formerly on the Executive of Americans for a Safe Israel and a founding member of CAMERA, New York (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America and today one of the largest media monitoring organizations concerned with accuracy and balanced reporting on Israel). In 2003 he and his wife made Aliyah to Israel and presently reside in Ashkelon.
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