What is behind the “diplomatic arrangement plan” for the Gaza Strip that the left has been peddling? As a rule of thumb, its mouthpieces avoid getting into detail; they know the public, and mainly the mothers of soldiers, won’t like the plan once they learn what it entails.
Behind the term “arrangement” is their plan to reconquer Gaza and transfer it to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. If all goes according to the left’s design, the Israel Defense Forces will enter Gaza in a ground operation; soldiers and tanks, with air cover, will clean out the tunnels, bunkers, homes and secret weapons stashes and hand Abbas a spotless Gaza Strip. The IDF will then withdraw, to be replaced by the P.A.’s security forces from Ramallah.
We’ve already seen this movie. Following the disengagement from Gaza we transferred the territory to Abbas and the P.A.’s security apparatus. Two years later, the heads of these security services found themselves being hurled off of buildings to their deaths. Hamas seized control. Who will prevent another Hamas coup once the IDF leaves upon concluding this left-driven operation? After all, Hamas is stronger, better trained and more organized than the P.A. How can the P.A. be inserted into territory it can’t seize on its own? But—so goes the argument—the P.A. is still functioning in Judea and Samaria.
We cannot compare Gaza to Judea and Samaria, where the P.A. is buttressed on the ground by the IDF and Shin Bet security agency. Who will protect the P.A. in Gaza?
Assuming members of the Israeli opposition want things to end well and aren’t merely taking swipes at the government, they should learn from their past mistakes. Sometimes the enemy of the good is a better idea, turned bad. This is what happened to the left in 1992 after the right-wing government quashed the intifada with Moshe Arens as defense minister.
The left didn’t stop there. There was still a need to patrol the alleys of Nablus and Gaza, but with greater vigilance. A group of do-gooders, known as the “Oslo underground,” sought a magical diplomatic solution that would make the IDF’s presence in Judea and Samaria extraneous. They imported Yasser Arafat and his gang from Tunisia, armed and handed them control of the area. “Peace is made with enemies,” they said, and signed Arafat to a piece of paper together with Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin and Bill Clinton.
That piece of paper was just that, a piece of paper, yet the doves of peace never followed. Quite the opposite; the Oslo Accords led to countless casualties. Had Israel not immediately transferred all security responsibility to the P.A., the fledgling Palestinian uprising would have never become a full-blown terror war—a war which was fought with the weapons we gave them.
It’s time to admit: Wherever our forces are in control, there is security.
The solution to the Gaza Strip, therefore, is for the IDF to assume control, as it did in the past and still does in parts of Judea and Samaria. And barring national consensus over remaining in Gaza, the intermediate alternative is the war of attrition currently being waged by Israel. In any case, we must certainly never allow Hamas to link with Fatah and the P.A. Indeed, “separation of the wicked—is good for them and good for the world.”
This column first appeared on Israel Hayom.