In the wake of deadly October, it’s hard to fathom that our people have won 213 Nobel Prizes for their smarts. Where was the brainpower in 2005 when Israel decided to leave the Gaza classroom to the unruly students?
The horror of October 7, 2023, and the ensuing deadly assault on the Gaza Strip probably wouldn’t have happened had Israel held on to the strip, making sure Hamas could not take control.
Call it the arrogance of power of just stupid short-sightedness, but thinking masses of Arab refugees could care for themselves without a senior teacher is charge of the play-yard is at the root of the chaos there today.
What made Gaza different from the Fatah-controlled West Bank was the composition of the population. The Strip became a magnet for defeated Fatah fighters who had been exiled from Lebanon. Their goal has always been Israel’s destruction.
They found a willing audience among the general population which quickly bought into the Hamas message and deserted Fatah.
The result has been endless conflict and the specter of Israeli aircraft bombing an urban jungle of 2 million people.
Israel had three choices when it signed the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt. It could have insisted Egypt take back Gaza or Israel could keep it either as part of a future Palestinian state or as a permanent part of Israel.
As we have seen, none of these choices were made. By relinquishing control Israel allowed Hamas to take over and grow into the deadly Iran-supported psychopathic terrorist army the country now faces.
By relinquishing control of Gaza, the ensuing conflict with Hamas risks widening the war into a regional one, putting at risk the gains and acceptance Israel has achieved with some of its Arab neighbors.
And at the end of the day, the 1,400 killed on October 7th will be overshadowed, if not forgotten by the wider world, because the specter of the alleged thousands killed in the ruins of Gaza City will be fresh images people will see. And even more painful is the knowledge that it didn’t have to be this way.