The following was written by a good friend of mine. It is a well written piece on current events in Israel.
Israel Pullout The plan for Israeli Disengagement from Gaza consists of 1) removing Israeli civilian presence from the area known as Gaza and 2 communities in North Shomron region. 2) Leaving portions of the infrastructure in place to assist the economy of the Palestinians that move into the evacuated areas, 3) withdrawing Israeli military presence from those areas.
Reasons that this could be good:
1. If the Palestinian and Islamic factions that currently engage in violence, hate and other anti-peace actions and philosophies accept this gesture and change their destructive behavior, a peace of sorts will result.
2. Such a large action favoring the political establishment of a Palestinian state is hereto unprecedented. If world opinion (& the UN) changes as a result of this to favoring Israel, the stream of condemning resolutions and media defamation may abate.
Reasons this may not be good:
1. Biblically, God seems to favor Israelites living in the land of Israel, descriptions of which include the areas slated for evacuation.
2. These are civilian cities, some of which have existed for over 30 years with the resulting family roots, feelings of community, and camaraderie born of a group of people living with common danger, hardships and goals. Government has not demonstrated the ability to provide adequate community or individual relocation for the displaced individuals, and is providing monetary compensation for certain property lost to the evacuation (homes, as I understand it) but the issue of jobs for the inhabitants of these agricultural communities has appeared in no aspects of data I have seen.
3. Gush Katif is responsible for approx. 15% of exported Israeli produce, and about 80% of the kosher produce used within Israel. Economically a 15% drop in produce exports, in addition to the thousand or so citizens who will potentially be unemployed is a heavy burden for an already straining economy.
4. These communities were established as a buffer/early warning against potentially hostile Islamic aggressors. Without Israeli control of these areas the danger of mortar and other artillery bombardment against dense population areas inside of "green-line" Israel is severely increased. Additionally, the opening of Gaza City's airport and a future Palestinian seaport makes the smuggling of weaponry all but unnecessary for terrorists. And with a legitimate airport, air attacks against Israeli targets are greatly simplified.
5. The Palestinians who are opposing "occupation" refer to this as a first step in the elimination of Jewish presence from all areas that are "occupied". Clarification of these terms currently indicates Gaza and West Bank. However, these terms do not compromise the expressed goal that has been raised against Israel again and again by Muslim armies: "drive the Jews into the sea". Any person who lives somewhere occupies their home. These homes in Gaza are being de-occupied and destroyed. "Whose house is next" is a [hopefully] rhetorical question, but one that burns in many hearts in Israel right now.
6. Palestinian terrorism has stated repeatedly that the violence of terrorist shootings, rocket attacks and mortar attacks have driven the Jews to leave. If terror worked once, what will happen if there isn't anything more to stop it from working again?
7. (extrapolating a bit, so this point is more opinion/editorial than anything else) Terrorist states are an international danger. The world should not promote terrorism by saying "keep your bombs and rockets and suicide bombers in your own corner of the world and if you have people who are being treated unjustly we will do what we can to promote your cause". Remember New York, London, Spain. Never negotiate with terrorists, and especially don't just do what they want. You may live through surrender, but slavery is "The condition of being subject or addicted to a specified influence". How many lives have been lost for freedom from slavery? Was their sacrifice in vain?
My own follow-on comments:
A few days ago on August 12th, Ismail Haniya with four Hamas members in attendance, said:
"Hamas confirms it is committed to armed resistance, it is our strategic choice until the end of the occupation of our land. Our land, including Jerusalem, is still occupied, the refugees are still deported, the wall and the settlements are still eating more of our land."
This statement, coupled with Hamas defiance of Palestinian Authority calls to disarm, and the Hamas intent to run in Palestinian parliamentary elections in January 2006 presents a volatile situation where the PA or Hamas is unlikely to accept this gesture and reduce hostilities in the future.
Indeed, we may even hear rhetoric from the PA on the reduction or elimination of hostilities, but I doubt the validity of any such talk. Remember, the PA under Arafat, learned quite a bit about world politics and public opinion, but Hamas has apparently not received this education.