The people of Israel demand victory. But we must ask ourselves and the Israeli leadership: What is victory and what will the situation be at the conclusion of this war?
Posing this question at this stage of the conflict is crucial, especially in light of the voices emerging from the international community, led by the United States, suggesting that at the end of the war, Israel should hand Gaza over to the Palestinian Authority.
Common sense cannot accept the notion that our beloved sons and daughters will endanger their lives in a challenging and demanding war only to be the silver platter upon which Gaza will be handed to a foreign entity, let alone the murderous terrorist entity controlled by the PLO, an organization that has emblazoned on its banner the objective of the “liberation” of the entire Land of Israel from Israel’s possession and the establishment of an Arab-supremacist state on its ruins.
We cannot wait until the day after the end of the war. The demand to return to Gaza and assume permanent control over it must be made now.
The longer we delay, the more foreign and Israeli voices will seek to fill the void created by our hesitation, demand the opposite and endlessly reiterate their policy as the only realistic alternative.
Now is the time to proclaim loud and clear:
Without Israeli control over Gaza, victory will not be considered a real victory. The struggle is for the land. Our enemies will only feel they have been defeated if they lose land—which was never theirs in the first place.
Without Israeli control over Gaza, the people of the communities adjacent to Gaza will not return to their homes and kibbutzim.
Without Israeli control over Gaza, the message of weakness conveyed by the 2005 withdrawal will resonate with the Arab population of Judea and Samaria, as well as Arabs in other parts of the country who will consider joining in Hamas’s murderous barbarism.
Without Israeli control over Gaza, Arab children will continue to study from the same schoolbooks that produce generations of ISIS-style terrorists.
Without Israeli control over Gaza, we will hear more and more incitement from the mosques.
Without Israeli control over Gaza, the public’s trust in Israel’s security, justice and governmental institutions will decline to the point of nonexistence.
Without Israeli control over Gaza, we will not be able to return and settle Gaza, which is an indivisible part of the Land of Israel.
Without Israeli control over Gaza, we cannot provide a moral response to the theft of our land by foreigners.
The world knows deep down that the only response to the brutal pogrom we have endured and the slaughter we have suffered is to return to our land with full sovereignty.
After the Six-Day War, the entire world cheered for us. Now, if we do not continue and complete the task after a pogrom of this kind, they will scorn us.
Only Israeli control over Gaza will constitute the necessary resolution of the war.
We call upon the government of Israel: Arise and come to your senses. Perform your moral and historical duty.