Caroline Glick reminds everyone of the “disengagement”, how Ariel Sharon turned to committing sickening acts of anti-demoncratic behavior and how even the alleged supporters of Israel turned against them, leading to the very terrible fix we’re in now:
After both the Oslo process and the withdrawal from Lebanon left Israel strategically and diplomatically weakened, with its politicians, generals and its very existence brought before international tribunals and targeted by diplomatic pogroms, there was no basis for the empty claim that by withdrawing from Gaza, Israel would gain international legitimacy to defend itself.
By leaving Gaza, Israel was saying – as it had in Lebanon – that it had no right to be there. And if it had no right to be there, it had no right to return.
To force this mad initiative through, Sharon had to explicitly disavow the platform he was elected to implement. Sharon won the 2003 elections by pledging never to surrender Gaza.
After he betrayed his voters, Sharon demonized and, when possible, fired everyone in positions of power and influence who opposed him.
He called a referendum of Likud members to vote on his plan, and when his opponents won the vote overwhelmingly, he ignored it. He fired Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya’alon, then IDF chief of General Staff. He fired his cabinet ministers. He castigated as “rebels” his party members who opposed his plan.
Moreover, with the active collusion of the legal system, Sharon violently repressed his political opponents. Young girls were thrown into jail without trial for months for participating in anti-withdrawal demonstrations. Privately chartered buses en route to lawful demonstrations were interdicted by police and prevented from traveling.
Protest organizers were arrested in their homes at 3 a.m. And with the active collusion of the media, all debate on the merits of the withdrawal plan was stifled.
As bad as it was in Israel, the situation in the US was arguably even more devastating. Since Oslo, Israeli opponents of the Left’s strategic insanity were intellectually and politically buoyed by their conservative counterparts in America.
The latter helped legitimize political opposition and enabled the conceptualization and maintenance of alternative policies as viable options.
Despite government repression, some 45 percent of Israel’s Jewish population actively participated in anti-withdrawal protests. In the US, virtually no one supported them. The absence of opposition owed to the fact that in America withdrawal opponents were boycotted, demonized and blacklisted by the American Jewish community and the previously supportive conservative media.
During the years of the fake peace process, conservative US Jewish groups and conservative publications led by Commentary, The Weekly Standard and The Wall Street Journal forcefully opposed it. But when Sharon joined the radical Left by adopting its plan to withdraw from Gaza, these formidable outlets and institutions enthusiastically followed him.
Leading voices like former Jerusalem Post editor and Wall Street Journal editorial board member Bret Stephens, Commentary editors Norman Podhoretz and Neal Kozodoy, commentator Charles Krauthammer and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol not only lined up to support the dangerous planned withdrawal. They barred all voices of opposition from the pages of their publications.
To greater and lesser degrees, their shunning of voices that warned against the Gaza withdrawal continues to this day.
So, too, with the exception of the Zionist Organization of America, every major American Jewish organization supported the withdrawal.
Like the editors of Commentary, the Weekly Standard and the Wall Street Journal, they barred voices of opposition from speaking to their groups.
All commentators who warned of the strategic calamity that would befall Israel in the aftermath of a withdrawal from Gaza were marginalized and demonized as extremists.
In a notable gesture, this week, Stephens along with Commentary’s Max Boot, acknowledged their error in supporting the withdrawal from Gaza. Their recantations are noteworthy because most of their colleagues who joined them in pushing Israel down the garden path and cheered Sharon’s “democracy” as 8,500 Israelis were thrown out of their homes and off their land in order to free it up for a terrorist takeover, continue to deny that they were wrong to do so.
But Stephens’s and Boot’s belated intellectual integrity on Gaza is not enough to make a difference for Israel today.
Of course not. For now, that these so-called defenders of democracy refused in any way, shape or form to speak out against a disgusting man who committed undemocratic behavior in his last days of living is shameful, and puts their support for democracy under a question mark. How are we really supposed to believe that they even want China to become a democracy if they’re going to even remotely support totalitarian movements like the PLO, which has more or less run their own enclaves with sharia tactics? And supposing Sharon made racist statements against blacks? Would they have suppressed that info as well because this is Sharon who might’ve uttered blasphemy? If they did that, they’d be stooping to dark paganism.
If there’s anybody Stephens, Podhoretz, Boot, Kozodoy, Kristol, Krauthammer and even Jonathan Tobin owe an apology to, it’s the Jews once living in Gaza at whose expense they supported this whole sham, and contradicted their alleged belief in democracy as a result. How can they say they support freedom and then fully throw their weight behind the notion of turning Gaza over to an entity that’s more than 99 percent the opposite of that? I’d say they have a lot of explaining to do, and one could reasonably argue that this is exactly why the GOP failed to win the election this year too. Just how do they expect to be truly successful if they cannot take a clear stand on what they believe in? Glick was absolutely correct to take them to task for their own shameful behavior, which is as disrespectful to Americans as it is to Israelis. They shouldn’t even be working as columnists for major papers if they cannot or will not comprehend the real enemies and are willing to sacrifice their beliefs for the sake of dhimmitude. What they did is exactly what Benjamin Franklin considered abhorrent:
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
That’s exactly what the so-called conservatives supporting the “disengagement” did, and in doing so betrayed even Arabs in Gaza with common sense.