The hundreds of Qassams and Katyushas that have landed in the south and north are a natural response coming from those who, over the years, have grown used to believing that Israel regards the thousands of mortars and Qassams on the inhabitants of Gush Katif as nothing more than rain.
The kidnapping of the soldiers was practically obligatory from someone who understands that "deterrence," a much-favored term used by many Israelis, was a kind of self-delusion, largely virtual, and that Israeli prisoners, for those who swore they would "not get down on the knees," are worth a few hundred terrorists.
Hezbollah and its Palestinian pupils internalized this and made note of it. After the wars against terror, like the one going on now, come the retreats, and then more wars, which lead to more retreats. Terror sows and then reaps. Fact: The blood of the dead and wounded had yet to dry and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was already making clear that in addition to the two fronts where unilateral steps were taken - with great success, as everyone knows - he will undertake another unilateral move. The "convergence," right next to the main mass of Israel's population, will take place, he insists.
The truth? We earned it honestly as a nation of gullible fools, who over and over followed the illusions of quiet, peace and demography sold buy its leaders. We deserve it. However, the influence of the recent events has moved something, maybe temporarily, but something has moved. Suddenly, there's not enough room on board for all those who are disengagement opponents.
Half of them, it turns out, were at Kfar Maimon - we must have missed them. The other half, were like the secret Jews of the Spanish inquisition, secretly opposed, while publicly voting in favor.
As for the first half, with their retroactive opposition to the disengagement, jokes can be made along the lines of "They were also on the Altalena." From the others, politicians like Benjamin Netanyahu, Silvan Shalom and Limor Livnat, who explained from every podium why the plan was bad and dangerous but raised their hands in favor of it, we never had any expectations. The real disappointment, the searing disappointment, is with the military echelons.
Former chief of staff Moshe Ya'alon, former Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter, Major General Giora Eiland, and others, who during Sharon's time consistently avoided expressing public support for the disengagement while behind closed doors expressed opposition to it, have dodged doing what they should do: putting their ranks on the desk, resigning and revealing their views to the hundreds of thousands of demonstrators and dozens of MKs who tried to stop the evil - those who internalized the lessons of Oslo; who understood that once burned, twice shy, who warned "don't give them land and rifles again"; who raised the alert about a Hamastan state; who anticipated the flight of the rockets and missiles toward Ashkelon; who understood that disengagement was a free gift, a further disintegration of Israel's deterrence strength and a shot of Adrenalin for terror, and despite all that they continued to serve the government that was so wrong and so misleading.
There would be no point in pouring salt on the wounds, especially in light of their updated criticism of the disengagement now, if not for the fact that the current leadership of the General Staff and Shin Bet is tainted with the same disease when it comes to "convergence": against it and squirming on the inside; quiet and swallowing their tongues in public.
Under cover of this false quiet, and nearly total media and legal enlistment in favor of disengagement, Sharon granted terror a paradise and turned Gush Katif into a pile of rubble.
If, heaven forbid, people don't arise from within the establishment to pull Olmert off his convergence plan and find him some other trend on which to anchor his regime, then from the rubble of Itamar, Elon Moreh, Har Bracha and the series of outposts and settlements on the mountain ridge, the terrorists will aim their missiles at the major Israeli cities on the coast, at Jerusalem and at the airport. The intelligence Israel currently enjoys from the areas of Judea and Samaria - which is a direct result of presence in the territory - will evaporate, as happened to intelligence that we used to have at our disposal in the south.
If the High Court continues to rely only on security experts on behalf of the state because that "has been the court's position since it was established"; if the court once again allows the state to deceive it and present a false picture of the position of the security echelon, without confirming it; if once again the justices automatically assume such plans "enhance security because the friction with the Palestinian population is reduced and because the evacuation ... reduces Palestinian motivation to harm the Israeli public," then a Hamastan will grow to even more monstrous dimensions and suffocate us on the outskirts of Kfar Sava and Tel Aviv.
"We told you so" should be shouted out bitterly now, not to win medals but to prevent Olmert and his government from dragging us into another adventure with a foregone conclusion. The law of disengagement, as Uri Elitzur recently wrote, may say its goal is to lead to a better security reality, but reality is the devil's work; it behaves according to common sense and not the Knesset's decisions.
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