In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 12, 2005 /9 Tishrei, 5766

Israel's new strategic environment

By Caroline B. Glick

Printer Friendly Version

Email this article

Now that Israel has lost all deterrent power over Palestinian terrorists in Gaza, and the international border has turned into a terrorist freeway to Israel's heartland, when will the government begin to reckon with the new threats to Israel's security that have emerged?

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | With Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip now a fait accompli, the question of whether the move was a mistake or not is no longer salient. The fact of the matter is that the withdrawal from Gaza created a new strategic environment for Israel and the central issue today is how Israel will contend with the strategic realities that are now taking form.

Ahead of the expulsion of Gazan Jews and the withdrawal of IDF forces from Gaza in August, the government pledged that it would respond dramatically and ferociously to any and all terror attacks emanating from post-withdrawal Gaza. When these warnings were challenged by the terrorist rocket barrage on the Western Negev that immediately followed the completion of the withdrawal, Israel failed to make good on its threats. Israel ignored the first salvo and then moved on to pound empty buildings and fields. No one can seriously claim that the sound-andlight show that the IDF produced constituted the kind of response to the massive rocket and mortar offensive against Sderot and the agricultural communities bordering Gaza that will deter future attacks. As was the case with Israel's tepid response to Hizbullah and Palestinian terror attacks on its territory from southern Lebanon after the precipitous IDF withdrawal from the security zone in May 2000, so today with Gaza, Israel's screeching speech and small stick have absolutely no credibility with either the Palestinian Authority or with Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad.

It is true that Hamas subsequently suspended its attacks on the Western Negev. But there is little indication that this short-term suspension of attacks has anything to do with IDF counter-attacks. Hamas has an organizational interest in keeping Gaza quiet in the run-up to the planned general elections for the PA's legislative council in January. Like Hizbullah ahead of the Lebanese elections last June, Hamas wants quiet ahead of the elections so it can claim to have been the power behind Israel's retreat. At the same time, Hamas has made it brutally clear to the PA that it will not accept any move to curb or constrain its military forces and that the PA, for its part, has accepted Hamas's stance. Israeli intelligence has no doubt that Hamas and Fatah will ratchet up their terror activity after January.

Aside from having lost all deterrent power against the various Palestinian terror factions and the PA's security forces in Gaza, Israel has also lost complete control over Gaza's border with the Sinai. It is true that there have been almost no press reports of weapons smuggling and terrorist infiltration from the Sinai into Gaza in recent days; however there are three clear indicators that the lack of reportage does not correspond to a lack of news. First of all, whereas in the weeks immediately following Israel's withdrawal there were journalists stationed all along the border zone, currently, there are no news teams there to speak of. And so, the lack of reportage about continued infiltrations of the breached border may very well be a function of the fact that no one is on the ground to report them.

ADDITIONALLY, the government's warnings last week for Israelis not to enter the Sinai and for all Israelis in the Sinai to immediately return home were the result of intelligence reports regarding a Hamas plot to kidnap Israeli tourists in the Sinai. The plot was to kidnap Israelis in Sinai and spirit them into Gaza where their captors would demand the release of jailed terrorists in exchange for their hostages. The fact that the plot involved cross-border traffic is a clear sign that the border remains open for terrorists.

Finally, as Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom noted in a radio interview over the weekend, Egypt has taken no effective steps to seal the border. Disputing earlier dismissals by the IDF, Shalom noted that the Palestinians have smuggled anti-tank and shoulder-launched missiles into Gaza from Egypt. Shalom's statements jibe well with earlier reports that Kais Obeid, the former Israeli Arab who now heads Lebanese Hizbullah's liaison with Fatah terror cells in Gaza, Judea and Samaria spent 36 hours in El-Arish meeting with Fatah terror commanders in the wake of Israel's withdrawal from the border zone. The fact that Egypt has allowed senior terror operatives to travel freely and openly in its territories is substantive proof that like Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, President-for-life Hosni Mubarak has absolutely no interest in sealing the border or in ending terror traffic and communications between Gaza and Sinai.

The open border with Egypt has significant strategic ramifications for Israel. Before the withdrawal, Israel could allow traffic between Gaza and Israel and Judea and Samaria because it controlled all the international passages. Today, in the absence of such control, the question of how persons and goods originating in Gaza can travel to Israel and Judea and Samaria takes on a completely different strategic significance. Today Israel has much less ability than it did five weeks ago to know where individuals crossing between Gaza and Judea and Samaria have been, whom they have met with and what weapons they have at their disposal.

And the security fence that Israel is building to prevent terrorist infiltration into its major cities is of no use against the emerging threat. It is no longer principally suicide bombers that we have to contend with — although they remain a significant threat. The security fence that Israel is now constructing will be useless against missiles, rockets and mortars.

It is not at all insignificant that a new al-Qaida cell in Gaza just distributed its first leaflet over the weekend. Al-Qaida, with its global reach, has the ability, once seeded in Gaza to bring enormous resources in weapons, technologies and financing that can easily alter the terror nexus that comprises Israel's strategic environment. In the absence of control over the international border, again, the risks that Israel incurs by allowing any entry of people and goods from Gaza into Israel or Judea and Samaria are of a completely different order than the ones it incurred by enabling such traffic before the withdrawal.

ALL OF this means that Israel must reexamine its entire strategic rationale for contending with Palestinian and international demands for enabling traffic from the Gaza Strip into Israel, Judea and Samaria. Today, free passage from Gaza to Judea and Samaria constitutes an open conduit for international terrorists into the Israeli heartland, with no Israeli supervision whatsoever.

Disturbingly, from the reports of the negotiations now being conducted between the government and the Palestinians, with the involvement of the US, the EU and the so-called Quartet's envoy James Wolfensohn, it appears that the government is completely ignoring the new strategic reality. Vice Premier Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz are behaving as though Gaza's open border with Egypt is of no concern. In spite of the fact that the Palestinian Authority has smuggled more weapons and ammunition into Gaza from Sinai than Hamas since the IDF withdrawal from the border, at the IDF's urging, the government agreed Sunday to enable the PA to receive ammunition from Egypt. And rather than maintaining that given the open border with Egypt, Gazans cannot be allowed into Israel or Judea and Samaria, the government is bending over backwards to enable such traffic to be reinstated. "In honor of Ramadan," the government Sunday reopened the Karni cargo terminal in Gaza.

On a simplistic level, the strategic environment that has emerged since Israel's withdrawal exposes the lie behind the government's euphemism for the move. There is no such thing as "disengagement" from an enemy that remains at war with you. The question is, now that Israel has lost all deterrent power over Palestinian terrorists in Gaza, and the international border has turned into a terrorist freeway to Israel's heartland, when will the government begin to reckon with the new threats to Israel's security that have emerged?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post. Comment by clicking here.


© 2005, Caroline B. Glick