Tuesday, November 20, 2012

On the Coming Ceasefire

By Frank Dimant

We may be hours or minutes away from yet another cease fire and thus it is important to recall some historical facts that should determine Israel’s attitude towards these momentary lapses in fighting.

Under the leadership of Ariel Sharon, who may very well be remembered in history as the founding father of Hamastan, assurances were made that promise that when the first rocket was fired into Israel from Gaza, the terrorist regime would feel the strength of the Israeli Army. Sadly, Israel has allowed thousands of rockets to fall.

Hamas has been strengthened by demonstrating to the world it has the ability to send missiles to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and virtually every spot in southern Israel. Hamas has demonstrated that it alone, and not the Fatah terrorist wing of the Palestinian Authority, is today the dominant player in the Palestinian evolution.

One can recall the ill-fated attempts by former Prime Minister Olmert to demonstrate strength in northern Israel when the army was called out. The reservists mobilized but no clear, decisive action was taken by the government in Lebanon for some time. It became almost painfully laughable as indecision was the main governing factor.

Will a cease fire benefit Israel? Will the tunnels leading from Egypt to Gaza be destroyed? Will the munitions factories in Gaza be closed? Will Iran stop transporting long-range missiles via Sudan and Egypt to Gaza? Will Hamas not declare itself a great victor against the Zionist regime? What will Israel gain with a limited cease fire? At best, a few weeks or months of maybe only a few rockets and missiles bombarding Sderot again? Tel Aviv will continue on its merry way as Israeli leftists will now proclaim the need to negotiate directly with Hamas.

Weakness is not tolerated in Arab society. Arab society appreciates strength and resolve. Yitzhak Rabin learned the hard way when he did not act with strength in the first days of the intifada.

Today, we witness the American Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, flying to the Middle East, enhancing the stature of the new Egyptian administration and giving them a role in brokering a cease fire. Netanyahu may well be forced to capitulate without any real long-term gains on the ground. A cease fire that allows the continuation of smuggling of weapons, periodic rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel and the instigation of hate to 10-year olds, inspiring them to become shaheeds, does not bode well for the tranquility of the entire Middle East.

Frank Dimant is CEO of B'nai Brith Canada.