March 1, 2004
Action Alerts

Action Alert – Unilateral Israeli Withdrawal From Gaza Will Reward Terrorists and Lead to Increase in Terrorism




To:
ZOA Executive Directors
ZOA Regional Leaders
Friends of Israel Around the U.S.


From:
Morton A. Klein – National President
Dr. Alan Mazurek – Chairman of the Board
Dr. Michael Goldblatt – Chair, National Executive Committee


The proposal for a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip has raised a number of urgent questions. Leading Israeli military experts are warning that a unilateral Israeli withdrawal would lead to an increase in Palestinian Arab terrorism against Israelis. It would send a clear message that murdering Jews brings results, without the Palestinian Authority even being required to promise to fight terror, much less actually doing it. Moreover, an Israeli withdrawal would include the forced mass expulsion of Jews from their homes and communities for no other reason than that they are Jews an action that would be deemed immoral and racist if it were applied to any other minority group in any other country.


Please e-mail your concerns to Prime Minister Sharon and Members of Knesset:

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon: pm_heb@pmo.gov.il

Likud Knesset Members:
Yuval Steinitz: ysteinitz@knesset.gov.il
Sylvan Shalom: sshalom@knesset.gov.il
Omri Sharon: osharon@knesset.gov.il
Michael Ratzon: mratzon@knesset.gov.il
Ayoub Kara: akara@knesset.gov.il
Ruby Rivlin: rrivlin@knesset.gov.il
Tzippi Livni: zlivni@knesset.gov.il
Limor Livnat: llivnat@knesset.gov.il
David Levy: david_levi@knesset.gov.il
Uzi Landau: ulandau@knesset.gov.il
Danny Naveh: dnaveh@knesset.gov.il
Leah Nass: lnes@knesset.gov.il
Benyamin Netanyahu: bnetanyahoo@knesset.gov.il
Marina Solodkin: msolodkin@knesset.gov.il
Gideon Saar: gsaar@knesset.gov.il
Gideon Ezra: gezra@knesset.gov.il
Tzahi Hanegbi: zhanegbi@knesset.gov.il
Ehud Yatom: eyatom@knesset.gov.il
Majalli Wahbee: mwahaba@knesset.gov.il
Yisrael Katz: yiskatz@knesset.gov.il
Haim Katz: hkatz@knesset.gov.il
Moshe Kahlon: mcachlon@knesset.gov.il
Abraham Hirschson: ahirshzon@knesset.gov.il
Yehiel Hazan: yhazan@knesset.gov.il
Michael Gorlovski: mgorlovski@knesset.gov.il
Eli Aflalo: eaflalo@knesset.gov.il
Ruhama Avraham: ravraham@knesset.gov.il
Ronnie Bar-On: rbaron@knesset.gov.il
Daniel Ben-Lulu: dbenlulu@knesset.gov.il
Naomi Blumenthal: nblumentl@knesset.gov.il
Ze’ev Boim: zaevb@knesset.gov.il
Yuli Edelstein: yedelstein@knesset.gov.il
Yaakov Edri: yedri@knesset.gov.il
Mickey Eitan: mikieitn@netvision.net.il
Gilad Erdan: gerdan@knesset.gov.il
Gila Gamliel: ggamliel@knesset.gov.il
Inbal Gavrieli: egavrieli@knesset.gov.il
Meir Sheetrit: mshitrit@knesset.gov.il
Ehud Olmert: eulmert@knesset.gov.il

Some Points You May Want to Make:


Israeli Military Experts Oppose Unilateral Withdrawal:


Senior Israeli Army officials have warned Prime Minister Sharon that “If the Palestinians are able to operate a sea port or airport from the Gaza Strip after the Israeli retreat, the Palestinians would be able to import weapons that would threaten Israel’s security.” Major-General Aharon Zeevi Farkash, chief of Israeli Military Intelligence, told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on February 10 that a unilateral withdrawal from Gaza “will be seen as surrender to terrorism” and “might motivate further terrorism.” (Ma’ariv, Feb. 10, 2004) Shlomo Gazit, former chief of Israeli Military Intelligence, wrote: “Our exit from Gaza will transform it into a big armed camp into which weapons of all kinds will stream via land, sea and maybe even air. It will also become an arsenal for independent development and production of arms. Moreover, this capitulation will be rightly viewed as an unambivalent victory for the Palestinian armed struggle.” (Ma’ariv, Feb. 9, 2004)


U.S. Joint Chiefs: Israel should keep Gaza


On June 29, 1967, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff stated in a report to the Secretary of Defense that Israel needed to keep Gaza: “By occupying the Gaza Strip, Israel would trade approximately 45 miles of hostile border for eight. Configured as it is, the strip serves as a salient for introduction of Arab subversion and terrorism, and its retention would be to Israel’ s military advantage.”


An Israeli withdrawal means creating a terrorist state in Gaza:


The Palestinian Authority regime currently administers parts of Gaza, but does not have sovereignty because of the presence of the Israeli Army. The PA does not control the borders, does not control sea access to Gaza, and does not have a full-fledged army. If Israel withdraws from the area, the PA will be able to establish a sovereign state, which would certainly be a terrorist state, to judge by how the PA has treated terrorists until now. It has not disarmed or outlawed terrorist groups; it has not shut down their bomb factories; it has not closed down the terrorists’ training camps. It has rewarded terrorists with jobs in the PA police force. In short, the PA has actively collaborated with and sheltered the terrorists. Moreover, the PA itself has sponsored thousands of terrorist attacks against Israel.


The PA has also created an entire culture of glorification of terrorism and anti-Jewish hatred in its official media, schools, summer camps, sermons by PA-appointed clergy, and speeches by PA representatives. PA school textbooks teach that Jews are “evil racists.”


Rewarding terrorists is wrong and dangerous:


During the past three years, Palestinian Arab terrorists have carried out tens of thousands of terrorist attacks against Israel, murdering nearly 1,000 Israelis and maiming many more. The terrorists demand, among other things, that Israel withdraw from Gaza and expel the Jewish residents. Terrorists, like all criminals, deserve to be punished for the crimes, not rewarded. For Israel to withdraw from Gaza and expel the Jewish residents would be to reward the terrorists. It would also encourage more terrorism, by demonstrating to the terrorists that additional violence may bring about additional Israeli concessions. Three and a half years of Palestinian Arab terrorism has proven that appeasement and concessions have failed.


Creating a Palestinian Arab state in Gaza would not lead to peace:


Establishing a state in Gaza would not satisfy the Palestinian Arabs’ goals. The aim of a Palestinian Arab state would not be to live in peace next to Israel, but to serve as a spring board for terrorism and invasions aimed at annihilating the Jewish State. The PA makes no secret of its goal; the official maps on PA letterhead, in PA schoolbooks and atlases, and even on the patch worn on the uniforms of PA policemen show all of Israel not just the disputed territories labeled “Palestine.”


A Gaza state would be an anti-American dictatorship:


The last thing the world needs now is yet another totalitarian, anti-American terrorist state. Yet that is exactly what a Palestinian Arab state in Gaza would be, to judge by the behavior of the PA during the ten years since it was created. The PA is a brutal Muslim dictatorship which tortures dissidents, silences newspaper that deviate from the PA line, and persecutes Christians. The official PA media actively incites hatred against America, and the PA maintains warm relations with the most anti-American regimes in the world, including Iran, Syria, Sudan, and North Korea.


The Jewish presence in Gaza dates back to biblical times:


Gaza has been a part of the Land of Israel since biblical times. The borders of Israel specified in Genesis 15 clearly include Gaza, and it is described in Joshua 15:47 and Judges 1:18 as part of the inheritance of the tribe of Judah, and in Kings it is included in the areas ruled by King Solomon. Throughout the centuries, there was a large Jewish presence in Gaza in fact, it was the largest Jewish community in the country at the time of the Muslim invasion (7th century CE).


The Jews of Gaza were forced to leave the area when Napoleon’s army marched through in 1799, but they later returned. The Jewish community in Gaza was destroyed during the British bombardment in 1917, but later it was rebuilt again. When Palestinian Arabs threatened to slaughter the Jews of Gaza during the 1929 pogroms, the British ruling authorities forced the Jews to leave. But in 1946, the Jews returned, establishing the town of Kfar Darom in the Gaza Strip, which lasted until 1948, when Egypt occupied the area.