Speculation on Sharon’s Thoughts

The disengagement has been a horrific experience. It has just been awful and like so many others I have tried to figure out why Sharon has conducted it in this matter. Some more thoughts to share.

It was unilateral. It was done without any concessions from the Palestinians which is part of why it has been so painful.

The Palestinian rhetoric from all corners has been filled with joy and defiance. Not that I am surprised. I didn’t expect them to say anything very different, but I had some small hope that there would be more of a peaceful response. That maybe Abbas would speak in terms that didn’t praise terror and set the table for something more relaxed.

You can say a lot of things about Sharon including that he is a determined and crafty chess player. Here is a thought to share with you. It is not based upon any inside information but my own speculation.

One could argue that there is near universal agreement that the Gazan settlements were similar to waving a red flag in front of a bull. Their existence infuriated many of the Palestinians and made it easier for many to justify terrorist responses. I am not going to get into a question of whether they were justified, that is a different post.

So if accept the premise that their very being incited violence than you have to consider the ROI on leaving them there. What is the return on your investment. Do they serve a real purpose that you can use to justify the trouble that comes with them.

I think that Sharon looked at them and decided that it was not worth the price anymore for such a small minority and that he anticipated that removing them would create a number of things.

About a year into the second intifada I was speaking with a friend who had made aliyah either just before or just after the Yom Kippur war. He told me that one of the problems that many younger Israelis had was that they had not experienced as many terrorist incidents and that they were far more easily rattled than some of the older folks who had lived through so many of the wars. I don’t have a way of measuring the veracity of this, but it sounds plausible to me.

One wonders if Sharon did not look at this and hope that through the pain of the disengagement he would create a situation in which the resolve of Israelis to batten down the hatches and not give in to terror. In theory the pain and discomfort of this action would help to make people tougher and less willing to give in.

Because one can easily argue that the real battle is coming. There are many more people in Judea and Samaria and the commitment to the land is stronger.

I also wonder if he didn’t do this to try and force Abbas and company to toe the line of the roadmap with the thought that they would be incapable of doing so. If would present an opportunity to say to the world that Israel had acted in good faith and that the Palestinians had not and therefore Israel is under no obligation to follow it until such time as the Palestinians met their responsibilities.

Anyway, those are some thoughts on why this might have taken place in the manner that it has. One more to share with you. I have recently read a number of different entries around the net that suggest that it is crazy for Jews to claim to have a religious connection to Israel but there is no mention of this for Muslims as if it is ok for them to say that they have reason to be there but we do not.

I find that troubling.

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12 Comments

  1. Jack's Shack August 22, 2005 at 5:35 am

    Q,

    Peace is something I’ll continue to hope for, but not really expect. Rather sad.

    Barbara,

    Securiy is of paramount importance.

  2. BarbaraFromCalifornia August 21, 2005 at 3:26 pm

    Amen Jack Shack.

    Which is why I think we must focus more on our security from now on.

  3. Stephen (aka Q) August 21, 2005 at 2:49 pm

    I don’t know if I really believe in peace anymore.

    Sad but true. I don’t think we’ll see peace in the Middle East in our lifetime, Jack.

    If anyone thinks the disengagement is going to buy peace, they’re going to be sadly disappointed. The best one can hope for is that the disengagement will position Israel strategically for subsequent developments (military and political).
    Q

  4. Jack's Shack August 21, 2005 at 3:01 am

    Barbara,

    I don’t know if I really believe in peace anymore, I am just not sure. All I know is that I believe that it is incredibly important for Jews to have Israel as a place to call home now and forever.

  5. BarbaraFromCalifornia August 21, 2005 at 2:50 am

    The disengagement has occupied my mind all week, and at times drove me to tears.

    I think it may not be such a bad thing for the Jews. At least 9000 Jews are out of harms way now, and should Hamas and/or other terrorist groups attack, then Israel can act accordingly, all the while showing the rest of the world that they tried to go along with the road map for peace.

    I look at the disengagement as one for the security of Israel, not the peace of anyone. With so much Jew hatred around, it is difficult to conclude that anyone truly wants to see peace for us. Just my two cents.

  6. Jack's Shack August 21, 2005 at 2:09 am

    Callie,

    I hope that you are right.

    Suzie,

    We shall see.

    Irina,

    Ideal scenarios are nice stories, but seldom more than that.

  7. Irina Tsukerman August 21, 2005 at 1:27 am

    Exactly. When have ideal scenarios ever work out?

  8. Anonymous August 20, 2005 at 10:37 pm

    Well its hard to predict, but I think Israel did gain a lot of diplomatic capital with this so at least for the time being more governments will be acting friendly.

    But the momentum has been set for further withdrawals and if those are not forth coming it looks like it will be back to square one from a diplomatic point of view.

    In the ideal scenario, Abbas will keep Hamas under control and eventually withdrawal will happen from MOST of Westbank and the borders will be on the “security fence.”

    Very dicy proposition though.

  9. Irina Tsukerman August 20, 2005 at 10:25 pm

    Now that I think of it, maybe it would have been better to force out some consessions from the Palestinians, since Sharon was probably going to disengage anyway.

    But I doubt Abbas had any intentions of being more peaceful. Waiting for voluntary consessions from Palestinians is a waste of time. Furthermore, whatever moral ground Israel has gained by following through on its promise, is not going to matter either to the Palestinians or to the international community at large. It hasn’t before, why should it matter now?

    I’m expecting greater pressure on Israel to give up West Bank and later, even Jerusalem, in response to the recent announcement by Abbas and the interpretation of the media (and even some political leaders, I’m sure) as if it were a fact.

  10. Assorted Babble by Suzie August 20, 2005 at 8:12 pm

    I enjoyed reading your perspective on this terrible situation we all have been witnessing.

    The part about the “waiving the red flag in front of a bull” as their existence may have infuriated Palestinians but they will continue in time with their terrorism regardless due to their ongoing hate.

    According to my belief, all of Israel belongs to the Jewish people. None of this should be happening…unfortunately the evil doers and all the nations that hate so badly the Jewish People and the U.S. we will continue to see blood….as it is written.

    I find this troubling also!

  11. callieischatty August 20, 2005 at 3:51 pm

    One more thing, the demoralized feeling many Jews have now is not going to do us any good.

    People have to keep their hopes up and have faith in our leadership in these tough times.

  12. callieischatty August 20, 2005 at 3:49 pm

    There are alot of terrible things being said on blogs Jack, but alot of good things too.

    I agree that this may be a good tactical move for Israel.

    I don’t see Sharon as a push over and he isn’t doing this without a good reason.

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