Barbara Lerner writes in The National Review that we are making a mistake by letting Ariel Sharon withdraw Israeli settlers from the Gush Katif region in the Gaza. This is not just about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is about the War with the Jihadists that the entire Western world is currently involved in, and the danger to the West of turning this strategic area over to them. The article should be read.
But Gaza isn’t Eden, and this isn’t the apple of knowledge. It’s a Rohypnol-like apple of ignorance, and it is blinding us to the danger America faces — a danger our Islamofascist enemies see clearly and are primed to take advantage of. We think Gaza is all about Israel and the Palestinians; our enemies know it’s mainly about us. We think we are encouraging Israel to hand Gaza over to Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party, local Palestinians with purely local ambitions — ambitions that encompass the whole of Israel, perhaps, but nothing beyond it — ambitions that have nothing to do with us. Our enemies know that behind a Fatah fig leaf, we are handing Gaza over to Hamas, an international terrorist organization of global reach and ambition that is one of America’s deadliest enemies. We think Hamas only attacks Jews. They know that Hamas is a main recruiting agent for Arab jihadists, not just from among the 2.4 million Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank and from the much larger numbers of Palestinians scattered in strategic enclaves throughout the region and the world, but for other Arabs too. We think Hamas sends all these jihadists only to Israel. They know Hamas sends a never-ending stream of them to Afghanistan, Chechnya, the Balkans, Kashmir, Lebanon and, most critically for us right now, to Iraq. And when our press insistently refers to Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the master terrorist who directs the foreign jihadists in Iraq, as “a Jordanian,” our enemies laugh. They know Zarqawi has always called himself a Palestinian, and is recognized as such, in Jordan and throughout the Middle East.
To see what Hamas control of Gaza will mean for us in Iraq, we have to see it as our enemies do — not just Hamas, but its parent organization, the Brotherhood, and its longtime partners Hezbollah, al Qaeda, and the Wahhabi and Salafist movements. To do that, forget Israel entirely for a moment. Look only at the terror war against America, and at the geography of Islamofascism that supports it. Place Gaza in that context, and its strategic location jumps out at you. Control of Gaza gives Hamas and its partners direct access to the land border with Egypt, as well as access by sea to terrorist supply ports in Lebanon and Syria, and from them, overland, to the terror training camps in Syria, Lebanon, and Iran and to the ratlines from Syria into Iraq.
She concludes with:
The good news is that unlike the Biblical Samson, we are not irrevocably blind, only seduced and blindfolded by a mix of propaganda, ideology, and wishful thinking that prevent us from seeing reality. If we tear off our blindfold and call a halt to the Gaza retreat before August 17, we will save ourselves and our friends in Iraq much anguish, and save our Israeli friends and perhaps our Lebanese friends too. And if we do it boldly, proclaiming our determination to defeat Islamofascist terror in Gaza as we are defeating it in Iraq and Afghanistan, we will bring a final American victory much closer.
The whole issue of withdrawal and turning over strategic locations to jihadists who proclaim war against Israel and the West needs to be carefully reconsidered. Abu Mazen is not in control in the Palestinian Territories. Hamas and other jihadists are. The United States, and sadly, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, are deluding themselves if they think that a benign democracy will emerge in the Palestinian areas.
Rather, the very Islamofascists who flew into the World Trade Center, who blew up passengers on trains in Spain and London, who killed tourists at Sharm-El-Sheik, and who kill shoppers and bus passengers in Israel, are who we are turning Gaza over to. We need to open our eyes and see the truth.