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Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Text: Key Retreat Promoter Yoel Marcus: Oslo dead, disengagement "serious mistake"

.[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: Yoel Marcus played an important role as key
supporter and advocate of retreat from Gaza. He suggested on the pages of
Haaretz that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would be able to avoid his legal
problems if he launched a withdrawal initiative and, viola!, soon thereafter
Marcus was Sharon's confidant, enjoying scoops about Sharon's decision to
launch - what a coincidence - a retreat plan. Marcus transformed into
Sharon's biggest fan and leading cheerleader for retreat.

This column by Marcus sounds more like someone shooting his mouth off at a
local pub than a serious piece (the idea that Israel could get away with
destroying blocks of buildings as a form of collective punishment certainly
sounds more logical after a couple of pints) but he made his way back to his
"Oslo religion" with a traditional re-hash in paragraph 15 and a dangerous
bout of wishful thinking in paragraph 16.]

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Brains and brawn

By Yoel Marcus Haaretz Last update - 09:15 29/05/2007
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/864484.html

1. No country in the world would sit around and watch one of its cities
being bombarded for six years, powerless to bring the violence to an end.

2. With all due respect to the Palestinians, they must be complete idiots to
be fighting one another. As Abba Eban famously put it, the Palestinians have
never missed an opportunity to miss every opportunity.

3. The dreams spun at Oslo have been shattered for good. All the stars of
this show have died, become weaklings or disappeared from the stage.
Challenged by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Fatah has lost the reins of
government and the confidence of its people. The handshakes on the White
House lawn and the Nobel Peace Prize have faded away like a dream.

4. Ariel Sharon's unilateral disengagement turned out to be a serious
mistake. It gave terror a boost, allowed the Iranians to call the shots in
Gaza instead of the Egyptians, fueled anarchy in the Palestinian street and
pushed the chances for an agreement even further away.

5. At the same time, our settlers have become more radical. The next
evacuation, if there ever is one, could end in bloodshed. Extremists on both
sides are nourishing one another: The Jews have gone back to their dream of
not giving up an inch, and the Palestinians have gone back to their dream of
a greater Palestine.

6. After six years of Qassam rockets, Sderot has become an item on the
international news. At first, these weapons were pooh-poohed as primitive
metal pipes. They could not be aimed; they did not always explode; and they
could not hit Sharon's ranch. From there, they moved up to primitive but
lethal. Israeli defense officials were so dismissive of Qassams that they
would not spend money on an interception system. They were right: We need to
be getting ready for intercontinental missiles.

7. Very few people in this country of soaring stocks and high-rolling
officials have ever stopped to consider what their homes might look like and
how their kids might grow up if Qassams were landing in Ramat Aviv and
Herzliya Pituah.

8. We cannot wipe out the Qassam launchers because they are much too
primitive for a sophisticated army like ours.

9. The people launching the Qassams are not exactly quaking in their boots.
They do not give a hoot when we say: "If we don't have quiet, you won't have
quiet." What we need to get rid of over there is their motivation.

10. Every time we evacuate Sderot rather than Beit Hanun, we have lost the
battle.

11. All this grumbling about bomb shelters is a bunch of hot air. First of
all, shelters signify weakness. Second of all, this is like giving an
aspirin to a cancer patient and resigning ourselves to the fact that
Palestinian terror will be with us forever. Are we going to let a primitive
hunk of pipe dictate how we live? Jacob Perry is right when he says that
spending on shelters, in our case, is like throwing in the towel and giving
up on the war on terror.

12. Major General Yisrael Tal is in favor of the "hate for hate" approach:
Set up guns facing the "sources of rocket fire," and for every Qassam
launched at us, we give back double and triple. Citizens might be killed?
And Israeli citizens aren't?

13. An improvement on the Tal approach is the ultimatum: Every time a Qassam
is fired, Israel will issue an immediate announcement that within three
hours buildings x, y and z, on this or that street, will be blown up. This
will give the tenants time to leave and no one will accuse us of killing
women and children.

14. Moshe Ya'alon and a few other old-time generals think that we should
carry out a Defensive Shield-type operation in Gaza - just mop up and leave.
On the other hand, we would have to be idiots to go into teeming Gaza when
we pretty much know that they have stashes of long-range Katyusha rockets
capable of reaching Kiryat Gat and Ashkelon and knocking out power in half
the country.

15. So what are we going to do with Gaza? Occupy it? We have already done
that. What have we achieved by that, apart from occupation? Haven't we
learned that occupation is like riding on a tiger's back? All the fleas go
along for the ride. There are no overnight solutions. What we need are
leaders endowed with both brains and brawn - courageous leaders prepared to
talk to Syria, Saudi Arabia and all the Sunni Islamic countries in order to
reach a comprehensive agreement. Only that will put an end to Hamas.

16. The time has come to stop going into a panic every time Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatens to destroy Israel. He is just a
show-off with a very big mouth. The ayatollahs are the ones who say what's
what and make the decisions in Iran. They will cut off his hands before he
ever reaches the red button.

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