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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 April 5, 2005 / 25 Adar II, 5765

Sharon's folly

By Daniel Pipes



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The Israeli prime minister not only betrayed those who voted for him but his legally dubious move will have many malign consequences


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | With the passage last week of a budget bill in Israel, the government of Ariel Sharon appears to be ready to remove over 8,000 Israelis living in Gaza, if necessary with force.


In addition to the legal dubiousness of this step and its historical unprecedented nature (challenge to the reader: name another democracy that has forcibly removed thousands its own citizens from their lawful homes), the planned withdrawal of all Israeli installations from Gaza amounts to an act of monumental political folly.


It also comes as an astounding surprise. After the Oslo round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations (1993-2001) ended in disaster, many Israelis looked back on Oslo's faulty assumptions, their own na´vetÚ, and resolved not to repeat that bitter experience. Israelis awoke from the delusion that giving the Palestinians land, money, and arms in return for airy-fairy and fraudulent promises would lessen Palestinian hostility. They realized that, to the contrary, this imbalance enhanced Palestinian rejection of the very existence of the Jewish state.


By early 2001, a riven Israeli electorate had largely re-unified. When Ariel Sharon became prime minister in February 2001, a wiser leadership had apparently taken over in Jerusalem, one that recognized the need for Israel to return to toughness and deterrence.


These optimistic expectations were indeed fulfilled for nearly three years, 2001-03. Sharon engaged in a quite masterful double diplomacy in which he simultaneously showed a cheery face (toward the American government and his leftist coalition partners) and a tough one (toward his Likud constituents and the Palestinians). The purposefulness and underlying consistency of his premiership from the start impressed many observers, including this one; I assessed Sharon's record to be "a virtuoso performance of quietly tough actions mixed with voluble concessions."


Sharon decisively won re-election in January 2003 over Amram Mitzna, a Labor opponent who advocated an Oslo-style unilateral retreat from Gaza. Sharon unambiguously condemned this idea back then: "A unilateral withdrawal is not a recipe for peace. It is a recipe for war." After winning the election, his talks in February 2003 about forming a coalition government with Mitzna failed because Sharon so heavily emphasized the "strategic importance" of Israelis living in Gaza.


By December 2003, however, Sharon himself endorsed Mitzna's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. While he did so in a spirit very different from the prior Oslo diplomacy, his decision has the same two main characteristics.


First, because the decision to retreat from Gaza took place in the context of heightened violence against Israelis, it vindicates those Palestinian voices arguing for terrorism. The Gaza retreat is, in plain words, a military defeat. It follows on the ignominious Israeli abandonment of its positions and its allies in Lebanon in May 2000, a move which much eroded Arab respect for Israeli strength, with dire consequences. The Gaza withdrawal will almost certainly increase Palestinian reliance on terrorism.


Second, the retreat is heating up the political climate within Israel, bringing back the dangerous mood of exaggeration, incivility, hostility, and even lawlessness. The prospect of thousands of Israelis evicted from their homes under threat of force is rudely interrupting what had been a trend toward a more healthy atmosphere during the relative calm of 2001-03.


Sharon's plans at least have a disillusioned quality to them, sparing Israel the wooly notions of a "new Middle East" that so harmed the country a decade ago. But in another way, Sharon's plans are worse than Oslo; at least that disaster was carried out by the clueless Left. A Right — led by Ariel Sharon — valiantly and staunchly opposed it. This time, it is the Right's hero who, allied with the far-Left, is himself leading the charge, reducing the opposition to marginality.


There are many theories for what reversed Sharon's views on the matter of a unilateral Gaza withdrawal in the ten months between February and December 2003 — I have my own ideas about the hubris of elected Israeli prime ministers — but whatever the reason, its consequences are clear.


Sharon betrayed the voters who supported him, wounding Israeli democracy. He divided Israeli society in ways that may poison the body politic for decades hence. He aborted his own successful policies vis-Ó-vis the Palestinians. He delivered Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim rejectionists their greatest boost ever. And he failed his American ally by delivering a major victory to the forces of terrorism.

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JWR contributor Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum.

© 2005, Daniel Pipes