Friday, July 14, 2006

The Folly of Land for Peace

Israel went to war this week. The precipitating event was the killing of 8 Israeli soldiers and the capture of 2 by Hezbollah. Hezbollah captured the soldiers in a raid from Lebanon into Israel. Just before the raid, Hezbollah attacked towns in northern Israel with rockets as a ploy to direct attention away from the incursion into Israel's territory by Hezbollah forces.

Hezbollah's attack occurred as Israel was invading Gaza in response to the capture of an Israeli soldier by the Hamas military wing. Hamas used a tunnel to go from Gaza to Israel to conduct its raid.

Note that both raids came from territory that Israel voluntarily ended its military occupation. Israel removed its troops from southern Lebanon 6 years ago. Israel left Gaza 10 months ago. In both cases, the formerly occupied land became a base for Israel's enemies, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, to launch attacks on Israel. Hezbollah in Lebanon has aimed rockets at towns in northern Israel at an increasing rate in the 6 years since Israel left. Hamas in Gaza has fired over 1,000 rockets from Gaza into Israel since Israel withdrew.

Israel's war today demonstrates the folly of land for peace. Israel gave up southern Lebanon and Gaza, but the radical Islamists in Hezbollah and Hamas refused to give peace in return. Israel's concessions encouraged its enemies, not to seek peace but to increase their efforts to destroy Israel.

Land for peace is now revealed as a failed policy. Regardless of the outcome of this war, the policy of land for peace is dead for the foreseeable future.