Sharon built a security fence to begin defining the boundaries of the projected 'West Bank' withdrawal. This much-hated fence was to protect Israelis from terrorists, but was also an offer of withdrawal and a path to peace. Nobody ever understood that.
In order to create an independent Arab state in Gaza, Israel withdrew the Jewish residents. Some of them had to be carried out kicking and screaming. Israel was willing to do this for the sake of showing it was taking a step on the road to peace.
Things didn’t work out in Gaza, and so the Palestinian Arab state remains tiny. Nobody in the world will admit that it exists—that Arabs rule their very own bit of land in Palestine.
However, since the Palestinian Arabs had become independent, they could elect their own rulers. Hamas was voted into power in 2007. The Hamas Charter called for a replacement of Israel and the Palestinian Territories with an Islamic Palestinian Arab state.
Nowadays, to be sure, Hamas doesn’t say much about its Charter. Nevertheless, Hamas has never given up launching rockets aimed at civilians into Israeli territory. The rockets serve no strategic purpose whatsoever. They have no possible diplomatic benefit. Radical evil is always pointless.
Nothing Israel has ever done has led to a greater increase in anti-Israel hatred around the world. And nobody knows that Ariel Sharon is the father of an independent Palestinian Arab state.
Why would Sharon have wanted to create an independent Palestine? To protect Israel, of course. He reasoned that the Palestinians were attacking Israel—and especially—Israelis, as part of their fight for independence. Little did he know that an independent Gaza would reject the idea of peace under any circumstances. Hamas is an ally of Iran, which rejects the idea of peace with Israel even though it has no particular interest in Palestinian independence.
The only reason that Iran’s leaders mention the Palestinian Arabs is that it gives them an excuse to be anti-Israel. Unfortunately, they don’t need such an excuse. Their opposition to Israel is unmotivated.
Hamas could not be bribed. Its idea of morality was opposing Israel’s existence. Hamas made sure that the independent Gaza state would be so dangerous to Israel that its borders would be closed.
Sharon tried. He made the mistake of being rational when dealing with an irrational enemy.