The Right Coast

September 14, 2005
Victor Davis Hanson on Withdrawing from Gaza
By Mike Rappaport

I support the Israeli withdrawel from Gaza, but I must admit to feeling a bit awkward about that support. Many people I respect believe it is the wrong move.

I gain some solace from two commentators who I greatly respect who also support the withdrawel: Charles Krauthammer and more recently, Victor Davis Hanson. In an op ed in the Washington Times, which does not seem to be available any longer, Hanson makes the case. As always, he is persuasive. Here is an excerpt:

The Israeli military is crafting defensible borders, not unlike the old Roman decision to stay on its own side of the Rhine and Danube rivers. In Mr. Sharon's thinking, it no longer made sense to periodically send thousands of soldiers into Gaza to protect fewer than 10,000 Israeli civilians, when a demographic time bomb of too few Jews was ticking inside Israel proper.

Palestine as a sovereign state rather than a perpetually "occupied" territory also inherits the responsibility of all mature nations to police its own. So when Hamas and Co. press on with their killing -- most likely through rocket attacks over the fence -- they do so as representatives of a new Palestinian nation. In response, Israel can strike back without worrying about blowback on isolated vulnerable Israeli settlements. Mr. Sharon's withdrawal policy from Gaza is thus a critical first step of turning the struggle from an asymmetrical war of terror into a conventional standoff between delineated sovereign states. And that can only help a militarily superior Israel.
In addition to this analysis of the withdrawel, Hanson also notes the reveal preferences of many Palestinians as to whether they want to live under the Israeli rule:

While there probably won't be a single Jew in the new Palestinian nation, there are more than 1 million Arabs inside Israel. Even more bizarrely, more than 100,000 illegal aliens have left Arab lands to reside in the "Zionist entity." Politically correct Arabs will not even use the word "Israel," but tens of thousands of Arabs seem to want into it nonetheless.