Op-Ed: The Ability to Go Back is Almost Impossible
Mark LangfanThe writer, who specializes in security issues, has created an original...
The deterioration in this region is just astounding; Israel is surrounded by regimes falling apart on all sides.
Generations of Israeli left-wing general military "experts" have based their entire notion of "Peace Process" military strategy on the totally unfounded assumption that if anything goes wrong in the "Palestinian State-to-be", Israel, being "stronger," can re-invade the area. Acccording to these generals' thinking, Israel can expose itself to existential risks from a withdrawal because "Israel can re-invade any time it wants to," suggested as if that would be a simple, clean operation.
It's like a medical expert surgeon saying, “I'll cut your leg off to cure your cold, and if it doesn't work, I can always sew it back on.”
Well, here comes United States Senator Lindsey Graham on January 3, 2014 speaking truth-to-power at a news conference in Jerusalem at the King David Citadel after speaking with Prime Minister Netanyahu. Senator Graham stated the following:
"Once you withdraw [from the 'West Bank'], the ability to go back is almost impossible, I really do believe that the idea of withdrawing [from the 'West Bank'] has to be considered in light of Gaza."
Senator Graham didn't stop with his security critique there, he continued:
“The deterioration in this region is just astounding; Israel is surrounded by regimes falling apart on all sides. The Iranians are marching toward a nuclear capability. Syria is becoming a cancer infecting the whole region. And I yearn for peace. But more than anything else, I yearn for leadership – leadership for my country to be accounted for at a time when the world needs American leadership.”
Senator Graham is publicly telling Israel what I have privately heard from congressmen, senators, and their staffs for 25 years: "Once Israel retreats from the 'West Bank', Israel can never re-invade the 'West Bank', because the United States and Europe will never let them ever re-invade. If re-invading Gaza is impossible, reinvading the 'West Bank' would be 100 times more impossible. And by the way, Obama is a thousand times worse for Israel than Carter was."
How are the US and the EU going to stop the IDF from re-invading? First, of course, there are going to be the US and UN peacekeeping troops in the new "Palestinian State" ostensibly to "protect" Israel. Obama and Kerry aren't telling you is that those troops are really there to "protect" the Palestinians from Israel, not Israel from Palestinian terrorists.
Little noticed in Abbas' recent February 2, 2014, "NATO West Bank troops" balloon in the New York Times, was that Abbas wants the NATO troops to protect him, and 'Palestine' against Israel. The Times article stated the following of Abbas' interview about the NATO troops:
“‘For a long time, and wherever they want, not only on the eastern borders, but also on the western borders, everywhere,’ Mr. Abbas said of the imagined NATO mission. ‘The third party can stay. They can stay to reassure the Israelis, and to protect us.’”
Why does Abbas want the NATO troops "also on the western borders," of the PA State he is planning? As Abbas said, "To protect us," and stop Israel from re-invading after a terrorist katyusha rocket attack or a 'Gilad Shalit' type kidnapping, that's why!
So, the NATO "peacekeeping" troops are at best a double-edged sword for Israel and at worst a one-edge sword to Israel's jugular vein. On a moment's notice, those NATO "friendly" smiling troops can redeploy inside Judea and Samaria and become highly-armed lines of "enemy" troops along the Green line. Is an Israeli Prime Minister going to run over and kill US or NATO peacekeeping troops as Israel tries to re-invade after a rocket attack into Tel Aviv?
And to make matters worse, the same EU countries who are threatening Israel with an "EU boycott" are the countries that make up NATO, whose troops would be guarding the Green Line from an Israeli re-invasion. So, if the EU is inimical to Israel now with their "boycott," imagine what boycott the EU will impose on Israel when their troops are killed in an Israeli re-invasion of Judea and Samaria. By hawking the "boycott" threat, the Livnis and Lapids of the world are playing with virulent anti-Israel chess players!
Then there is, of course, the UN Security Council. If Israel is even mobilizing in a day, or two, for re-invasion, then in hours, if not minutes, the UNSC will fire off explicit enforceable sanction resolutions. Can Israel rely on Obama or any other US president to protect them in the UNSC against a post-retreat Chapter VII Resolution with a veto? In fact, based on Obama's inglorious and virulent anti-Israel record, Israel can rest assured the US will vote for the anti-Israel UNSC Chapter VII resolution along with paralyzing sanctions.
Now, one can argue that if Israel doesn't cave now, or soon, the US will ultimately agree to impose UN Chapter VII actions anyway. I don't think so because all hell would break loose with US Jews. But, okay; let's compare apples-to-apples. Let's compare a pre-retreat UN Chapter VII, and post-retreat UN Chapter VII scenarios against Israel. Would Israel rather have to deal with a Chapter VII UN action scenario with the militarily-inert 'West Bank' under its current pre-retreat status quo control, or with a post-retreat Palestinian State that is loaded with Katyushas and anti-tank missiles,actively firing them into Tel Aviv and Jerusalem?
In a pre-retreat Chapter VII context, Israel has breathing room, and its economy isn't paralyzed with ball-bearing war-headed Katyushas blowing up El Al 747s parked on the tarmac of Ben Gurion. In the post-retreat Chapter VII crisis with rockets falling everywhere, and the UNSC enacting an anti-Israel SWIFT sanction resolution, it would be game-over for Israel.
As a tragicomic example of the left-wing generals "re-invasion" plan, take General Amos Yadlin, former head of Israeli Military Intelligence, current head of INSS, Israel's pre-eminent "think-tank." About two years ago Gen. Yadlin was just finishing his stint at the Washington Institute. I entered his office akimbo, with my shoulders full of maps and plopped my 3d topographic map down between us. I didn't waste time. I took out my neon Katyushas rocket piece and said in effect, "a demilitarized Palestinian state is a military fraud because with one Katyushas rocket from the West Bank into Tel Aviv, Israel's finished." Yadlin waved me away as if I was a gnat and proclaimed, "One Katyusha rocket into Tel Aviv, and we'll re-invade the whole West Bank."
I smilingly responded, "So, you think just like that Israel can re-invade the entire West Bank? Hmm." I continued, "You're very, very brave, general!! But general, if you’re so brave, why don't you schlep with me to the US Senate and we'll both show pro-Israel senators the maps and the Katyushas, and you can tell them that you are going to re-invade the entire West Bank if the Palestinians fired some Katyushas into Tel Aviv. I've been telling senators and congressmen for 25 years that Israeli generals think they can reinvade the West Bank if a rocket is fired or 'something goes wrong,' and for 25 years they have told me one way or the other that the ‘US will never let them reinvade if they leave.’"
The “brave” Gen. Yadlin paused, and responded, "So, we'll reinvade a part." To which I responded, "Which part, while the rockets are falling?" Yadlin saw he wasn't going to convince me, so we parted amicably. As I left, I said to myself, "Yadlin wasn't a general of Israel, he was a general of Chelm. Only a general of Chelm could say that."
In conclusion, Israeli left-wing generals' stated delusions that Israel can retreat from the 'West Bank' are inextricably based solely on the delusion that if something bad happens from the 'West Bank', Israel can always reinvade. Senator Graham has put a stake through the heart of that delusion. Hopefully, Israeli politicians will understand what Senator Graham said and base their policies on the real world, not on delusion.
But realistically, the Dracula of the left-wing "re-invasion" delusion controls the entire Israeli opposition's "peace" cultism. Until this delusion is totally eradicated, Israel is at risk of national suicide.
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