Sunday, October 30, 2011

IMRA - Time for A Road Map for Cleaning Out the Gaza Strip

Dr. Aaron Lerner
Weekly Commentary
27 October '11

Fact: A huge supply of rockets carrying various payloads, putting a large part of Israel within range, is already in place in the Gaza Strip. And with each passing day there is an increase in the quantity and quality of these weapons .

No one is denying this fact. Not Hamas in Gaza. Not the PA leadership in the West Bank. Not the Arab states. Not Iran. Not the Quartet members. No one.

What is Israel doing about it?

Our patrols in the waters off of the Gaza Strip do indeed make smuggling from the sea more difficult, but there is an essentially open border between the Egyptian Sinai and the Gaza Strip traversed by hundreds of broad smuggling tunnels.

Add to that an ever growing domestic weapons production industry in Gaza.

So what is Israel doing about it?

Well, we keeps adding targets to our target bank so that when the Arabs fire something at us we can bomb something back.

Can Israel do more?

Let’s take on faith for a moment that cold reasoning rather than inertia is behind the decision so far not to order the IDF to clean out the Gaza Strip.

Can we do something in the absence of military action?

Let’s back up again and consider just how profound it is that there is a universal consensus that the Gaza Strip is packed with rockets and missiles.

This when the Palestinian leadership applying to the UN for support for statehood does not claim that either the current PA or even a sovereign Palestinian state has the right to be armed with these rockets and missiles.

Absolutely incredible.

The whole world knows that these weapons are in the Gaza Strip and the PA leadership itself concedes that these weapons aren’t supposed to be there.

The situation is ripe for a new “road map”.

A “road map” for cleaning out the Gaza Strip.

And with the simplest of arguments: a necessary condition for the establishment of a Palestinian state living side by side in peace with Israel is that the illegal weapons be cleared out of the Gaza Strip before the state comes into existence.

Emphasis on “before”.

Because if and when a Palestinian state comes into existence with those weapons in place there will be a thousand and one excuses for their failure to disarm.

Anyone who supports the establishment of a Palestinian state living side by side in peace with Israel should support the enforcement of a road map for cleaning out the Gaza Strip now.

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