Monday, May 02, 2005

Sharansky resigns

Israeli minister Sharansky quits over Gaza pullout
Israeli cabinet minister Nathan Sharansky, one of US President George W. Bush's intellectual guiding lights, resigned in protest at plans to pull Jewish settlers out of the Gaza Strip.

Sharansky, who became the sixth minister to either quit or be sacked in less than a year over opposition to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan, warned it would strengthen Palestinian militancy and divide Israeli society.

"In my view, the disengagement plan is a tragic mistake that will exacerbate the conflict with the Palestinians, increase terrorism and dim the prospects of forging a genuine peace," he said in a resignation letter to Sharon.

"I am even more concerned about how the government's approach to disengagement is dividing Israeli society," said the minister without portfolio who had responsibility for diaspora affairs.
I think Sharansky is an honorable man who is doing the honorable thing. And I think he's right in his view on Gaza. I, too, have opposed Sharon's "peace plan" if it means land concessions.

Sharon wants peace. Everyone does. Arab nations (and their UN allies) have always insisted that Israel make land concessions to obtain peace, but these "concessions" are merely steps in the full plan they'll never admit. The reality is that Palestinians and their allies, despite their claims to the contrary, will never cease the terrorism, never cease their militant movements, until Israel is completely eliminated. The terrorism would continue even if Israel withdrew from the West Bank itself. The Arab nations' policy is summed up in Iran's: they are committed to the destruction of the Jewish state. Oh, Egypt made an official peace, but unofficially it supports the rest of the Arab world.

Egypt recently celebrated "Sinai Liberation Day" (April 25th). What kind of holiday is that? Celebrating that they got their asses kicked after attacking Israel without provocation, and that they "liberated" Sinai only after begging for a peace treaty?

Israel was attacked three times, without provocation each time. Three times the Israelis successfully defended themselves with honor and courage, though outnumbered and outgunned. The Muslim nations' penalty for the unprovoked attacks was losing land: the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights, and Sinai. Spoils of war. Now the attacking nations want the land back; they want the penalty for their barbarism reversed. If they don't get their way, they'll cowardly kill bus passengers, or women and children in their beds.

Recommended reading: "Exodus" by Leon Uris. It mixes history and fiction, but its history gives a tremendous background on what happened to "Palestine." It truly was a land of milk and honey until centuries of Arab occupation devastated the soil. Israel is accused of destroying trees, which is nothing compared to centuries of Arab deforestation and neglect. When Jews started returning to Palestine at the end of the 19th century, among the first things they did was plant trees to renew the soil. Moreover, by following the Biblical law of how to plant crops (especially letting it lie fallow every seventh year, to rest just as God and man rest), the Jews were able to restore land that the Arabs had long since given up on.

Well, I occasionally will delve into politics, but let me add some economics, too. The Arabs fear of the Jews' return was partly economic. Martin Gilbert wrote in "Exile and Return: The Struggle for a Jewish Homeland" that:
...on 24 June 1891 the leading Muslims of Jerusalem telegraphed to the Turkish authorities in Constantinople 'praying they the entry of such Jews should be prohibited, as, not only was the labour marked over-stocked, but also the Muslims themselves would be greatly the sufferers, as, the European Jews being skilled in all different kinds of trades, the Muslims could not compete against them.
Arab's jealousy over Jews' kibbutzes, with newly hale and restored land, didn't diminish their hate, either. Instead of becoming more competitive, instead of finding goods and services to trade, instead of bring themselves up, the dominant Arabs only sought to bring the Jews down.

Israel's security barriers and checkpoints clearly hinder Palestinian's commute into Israel, where they can actually earn decent wages. But their countrymen's terrorism forced Israel into that defensive posture. The only ones to blame are the Palestinian terrorists, whose "freedom fighting" involves the cowardly murder of civilians. On the other hand, if Israel didn't need security barriers and checkpoints, peaceful Palestinians could cross the border to work good jobs.

Meanwhile, Palestine's economy is in shambles. In fact, Palestinian towns are excellent examples of the "broken window" fallacy, which Paul Krugman believes. When Israel destroys a home to retaliate for a suicide bombing, shouldn't Palestine experience an economic boom by having to rebuild it? Of course not, and Bastiat is again proven right.

Much Palestinian apologist bunk abounds, like this from the BBC. Do you notice anything about it? Or rather, do you notice what's missing? There isn't a single mention of Palestinian terrorism that has forced Israel to take extreme measures. There isn't a single mention of what Arafat and his government did to destroy Palestinians' chances of achieving real freedom, beyond a mild allusion to "corruption."

Palestine's lack of economic growth is not from Israeli destruction -- far from it. Its lack of economic growth is because Israel has no choice but to heavily control its borders. Palestine's lack of economic growth stems even more from a pure lack of economic and political freedom. Arafat did nothing but spend international "aid" on himself and his followers. Rumor is that there are still untold millions in his Swiss bank accounts, which the rumors state are why his estranged wife never divorced him. Even after his death, Arafat's single legacy is cronyism that might take decades to root out. Nothing real in the government can be accomplished, because you have multiple factions fighting each other. They're all "united" in that they pretty much all support terrorism against Israel, but it's one huge power struggle.

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