New York – The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has strongly supported the analysis by R. James Woolsey, who served under President Clinton as Director of the CIA, that Israels policy of making unilateral concessions to its enemies has failed utterly. Mr. Woolsey is now a Distinguished Advisor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a Trustee of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. In a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Woolsey exposed the fallacies that underlie arguments for further, unilateral Israel concessions and the dire consequences of such concessions.
Excerpts from Mr. Woolseys article:
- It is … widely assumed that Palestinian hostility to Israel is fueled by despair that can only be reduced by Israeli concessions … [this assumption is] fundamentally flawed. The approach Israel is preparing to take in the West Bank was tried in Gaza and has failed utterly. The Israeli withdrawal of last year has produced the worst set of results imaginable: a heavy presence by al Qaeda, Hezbollah and even some Iranian Revolutionary Guard units … Hamas assassination attempts against … Jordans ambassador; rocket and mortar attacks against nearby towns inside Israel; and a perceived vindication for Hamas, which took credit for the withdrawal. This latter almost certainly contributed substantially to Hamass victory in the Palestinian elections.
- Ariel Sharon repeatedly said he would not replay the Gaza retreat in the West Bank . With good reason: Creating a West Bank that looks like todays Gaza would be many times the nightmare. How would one deal with continuing launches of rockets and mortars from the West Bank into virtually all of Israel? … A security barrier does no good against such bombardment. The experience in Gaza, further, has shown the difficulty of defending against such attacks after the IDF boots on the ground have departed. Effective, prompt retaliation from the air is hard to imagine if the mortar rounds and Katyushas are being launched, as they will be, from schools, hospitals and mosques.
- Israeli concessions will also make the U.S. look weak because it will be inferred that we have urged them, and will suggest that we are reverting to earlier behavior patterns fleeing Lebanon in 1983, acquiescing in Saddams destruction of the Kurdish and Shiite rebels in 1991, fleeing Somalia in 1993, etc.
- Israel is not the only pro-Western country that would be threatened. How does moderate Jordan, with its Palestinian majority, survive if bordered by a West Bank terrorist state?
- Three major Israeli efforts at accommodation in the last 13 years have not worked. Oslo and the 1993 handshake in the Rose Garden between Yitzhak Rabin and Yassir Arafat produced only Arafats rejection in 2000 of Ehud Baraks extremely generous settlement offer and the beginning of the Second Intifada. The Israeli withdrawal from Southern Lebanon in 2000 has enhanced Hezbollahs prestige and control there; and the withdrawal from Gaza has unleashed madness. These three accommodations have been based on the premise that only Israeli concessions can displace Palestinian despair. But it seems increasingly clear that the Palestinian cause is fueled by hatred and contempt.
- Israeli concessions indeed enhance Palestinian hope … a hope that they will actually be able to destroy Israel.
- The Iranian-Syrian-Hezbollah-Hamas axis is quite explicit about a genocidal objective. When they speak of ending Israeli occupation they mean of Tel Aviv.
- Under these circumstances it is time to recognize that, sadly, the Israeli-Palestinian issue will likely not be the first matter settled in the decades-long war that radical Islam has declared on the U.S., Israel, the West and moderate Muslims — it will more likely be one of the last.
- … three failures in 13 years should permit us to evaluate the wisdom of further concessions ( Wall Street Journal, May 23).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, James Woolsey has pointed out many of the dangers and consequences of a policy of Israeli unilateral retreats, to which could also be added that since last years Gaza withdrawal, Palestinian bombings and attempted attacks have increased, from 48 in October last year to 277 in December. Smuggling of weaponry into Gaza has also increased by 300 percent, according to Yuval Diskin, the head of Israels security service, Shin Bet. As he put it in January, If before the disengagement they smuggled in 200 to 300 rifles a month, they are now smuggling in close to 3,000.
Woolsey is right to point out the dangers of further Israeli unilateral withdrawals for the US. As Caroline Glick, the Managing Editor of the Jerusalem Post, has observed, the Olmert plan will provide a strategic victory to the forces of global jihad in a war they wage not only against Israel but against the US and the Western world as a whole because they will see Israel destroying itself under the gun of their terror and enabling the establishment of yet another base for global terrorists. Glick, in a major research piece for the highly respected Washington-based Center for Security Policy, has shown that implementing Olmerts plan will endanger US military assets in Israel and Jordan and allow Iranian and Al-Qaeda forces to establish themselves in Judea and Samaria.
It is also noteworthy that the distinguished Israeli journalist for Israels left-wing Haaretz newspaper, Ari Shavit, has written of the plan that, It is not just the stability of Israel that Olmert is endangering. He is also endangering the regional stability. A Hamas state will accelerate Jordans collapse… Egypt will also be threatened… Olmerts plan will be supporting not only anti-Israel terror, but also the anti-Western revolutionary movement. [Olmerts] radical unilateral process will disrupt the American strategy in the area and will bury U.S. President George W. Bushs dream of stability and democracy in the Middle East. … The history books will record Olmerts unconditional withdrawal as the unconditional surrender of Zionism.
It needs to be widely known that Ariel Sharon stated that he was opposed to making any further unilateral withdrawals and that he intended making no concessions until the Palestinian fully complied with their Roadmap obligations to fight terror and end incitement to hatred and murder within the PA that feeds it. As he told Jewish leaders at Blair House in Washington D. C., on April 13, 2005, No serious steps have been taken by [the PA to stop terrorism] and we cant get to the Roadmap plan until the PA fully implements its obligations.
The ZOA concludes, as has former Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Chief-of-Staff, Moshe Yaalon that, in the absence of any prospect for peace and reconciliation on the Palestinian side … Under no circumstances should [ Israel] surrender to terror. As long as they see our appeasement policy, they will continue.