Uri Pilichowski
Author, Educator and Father - Brother to All

Withdrawing from Land Never Makes Israel Safer

Rockets light up the night sky as they are fired towards Israel from Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on May 14, 2021. Israel bombarded Gaza with artillery and air strikes on May 14, in response to a new barrage of rocket fire from the Hamas-run enclave. (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)
Rockets over Gaza Credit: AFP

Israel has been accused of being an occupying power since its inception in 1948. Arabs and their advocates the world over never accepted Jewish claims to their historic and ancestral land, Eretz Yisrael. Arabs living in British mandate Palestine in 1947 rejected an offer to split the land with the Jewish people and decided to go to war against Israel the day it declared its Independence. In a sign of self-delusion, refusing to accept reality of Israel’s existence, Arabs declared their refusal to accept Israel “Nakba” or the catastrophe. They have declared the land. “From the (Jordan) River to the (Mediterranean) Sea” Palestine and have been hoping to set it free from the Jewish state for 73 years.

Since 1948, Arabs have attacked Israel repeatedly, and each time, they’ve come out worse for wear. In 1967, Arab armies gathered on the Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian borders and tried to annihilate the Jewish state (again). As usual, Israel won the war and captured four areas, The Sinai Desert and Gaza Strip from Egypt, Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria. In 1982, Israel went to war with Palestinian Terrorists in Southern Lebanon and captured the South of Lebanon. Israel settled some of these areas, and others used as a buffer zone against Israel’s enemies.

Almost immediately after capturing these lands, demands came from external and internal voices to withdraw from the lands Israel was “occupying.” Ignoring that Israel was defending itself when it took the lands, that it had no aspirations to increase its borders, or that withdrawing from the land would almost certainly make Israel less safe, as time went on the voices became louder and louder for Israel to withdraw from lands it had captured in its defensive wars.

In 1979 Israel signed a peace deal with Egypt. The deal created a cold peace that has lasted for over 30 years. It came at a price for Israel. In exchange for peace with Egypt, Israel returned the Sinai Desert to Egypt and withdrew all its civilian and military forces from the Sinai. Entire Jewish towns were uprooted and people forcefully transferred back to Israel. In 2011 the Sinai insurgency began. In the vacuum of power, Arab terrorists aligning themselves with ISIS have taken positions in The Sinai in an ongoing campaign against Egyptian and Israeli forces. They’ve launched rockets into Eilat and other Israeli areas.

In 2000, after winning a political campaign on the promise to retreat from Lebanon, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak withdrew all Israeli forces from Southern Lebanon. In the vacuum of power created by Israel’s withdrawal, Hezbollah terrorists aligned with Iran moved in to Southern Lebanon. In 2006, Hezbollah started a war with Israel which resulted in hundreds of thousands of Israelis forced to flee their homes and over a 100 dead Israelis.

In 2005, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made a unilateral decision to withdraw all Israeli civilians and military forces from the Gaza Strip and hand control to the Palestinian Authority. He incorrectly argued that withdrawing Israelis from Gaza would make Israel safer. In months, Muslim Brotherhood aligned Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas took control of Gaza by force. Since its takeover Hamas has fired over 20,000 rockets into Israel. The withdrawal from Gaza was one of Israel’s worst mistakes. It has made Israel less safe.

After watching repeated withdrawals and the mayhem they’ve caused Israel, the accurate conclusion is withdrawing from land never makes Israel safer, in fact it usually makes Israel less safe. Withdrawing from land usually brings rocket attacks and serious Israeli casualties.

Yet, amazingly, even as Israel is under attack as a result of its 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, people are calling for a two-state solution which would require Israel to withdrawal from land in Judea and Samaria currently under Israeli control. They claim only the two-state solution can assure Israel of a Jewish democracy in peace with its neighbors. Besides the spuriousness of the claim itself, advocates for the two state solution ignore their idea of Israeli withdrawal from land its controlled has ALWAYS brought Arab attack, Israeli death and a less secure Israel.

There is no scenario of Israeli withdrawing from areas of the West Bank in which Hamas, which is much stronger than the Palestinian Authority, doesn’t take control of the West Bank and use their new territory to strike Israeli targets. Einstein’s explanation of insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results has been applied to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ad nauseam, but it applies all too well to those advocating/wishing/demanding a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Let us be clear; advocating for a two-state solution which includes Israeli withdrawal from areas it currently controls and the creation of a Palestinian state, is synonymous with advocating for the next rocket attack on Israel. It is a delusional hope for peace that will bring nothing but more war.

About the Author
Rabbi Uri Pilichowski is an educator. As a teacher, author and speaker, he teaches Torah and Politics, where he specifically emphasizes rational thought and conceptual analysis.
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