Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Numbers Don't Lie

The bombardment of Sederot after Israel completely pulled out of Gaza is one of many examples which demonstrate the Palestinian Arab portion of the Arab-Israeli conflict has nothing to do with "occupation."

It is amazing that the Israeli government has tolerated this untolerable situation this long. One does not have to agree with Moshe Arens to recognize something must be done, and done soon.

By Moshe Arens

The Olmert government continues to offer lame excuses to the residents of Sderot and the communities surrounding the Gaza Strip for not providing them the security to which all Israeli citizens are entitled. In answering the petition brought to the High Court of Justice calling for the government to provide protective reinforcement against rockets and mortar shells for buildings in Sderot, the government had the effrontery to plead that it was not obligated to provide security for the citizens of the country.

The inane slogans offered as excuses for not putting a stop to the rocketing of Sderot, such as "there is no magic solution," or there is no "bang, and it's over," may at first have seemed convincing to some, but as the rocketing continues, nobody but fools take them seriously.

The army's chief-of-staff has said what everybody, other than this government's ministers, knows - that the only way to stop the rockets from coming down on the heads of the population living near the Gaza Strip is for the IDF to move in and move the rockets out of range.

So now comes the turn of the lie to excuse the government's inaction. It is said that "even when the IDF was in Gaza, Qassam rockets were raining down on Israel." In other words, what is the use of sending the IDF into Gaza, when our past experience has shown that this was not effective.

But they neglect to inform the public that the IDF left most of the Gaza Strip in the wake of the Oslo agreements, almost 15 years ago, and that from the limited areas in which the IDF was present prior to the disengagement, no rockets were fired against Israel. There is no reason to expect that rockets will be launched from areas which the IDF controls.

What's more, the launching of rockets against Israel has increased drastically since the disengagement. Just look at the graph provided by The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center on the annual distribution of rocket fire.

These figures don't lie.

Now, so-called "government sources" have added a ludicrous and non-sensical "cost-benefit" analysis, which is presumed to show that when the cost of the IDF's entry into the Gaza Strip is compared to the cost of the continuing rocketing of Israel, the present situation is to be preferred.

Who are the idiots who have concocted this nonsense? What is the true cost of the government not protecting its citizens, or the cost of certain areas in Israel becoming unlivable? As for the presumed cost of the IDF's entry into the Gaza Strip, this is pure speculation. After months of preparation and training, and given the almost unlimited superiority of the IDF over the militants in the Gaza Strip, there is no reason why the cost should turn out to be prohibitive.

In any case, all agree that the cost will only escalate as time goes by. Those who consider it difficult at this time will surely find it impossible in the future. So what they are saying is "get used to it," or "every day brings us closer to the IDF's entry into the Gaza Strip" - another piece of foolishness, that does not seem to impress those launching the rockets.

And finally comes the argument to end all arguments: "We may know how to get in, but we may not know how to get out." It is just this mindset that led to the fiasco of the Second Lebanon War and the rocketing of northern Israel by Hezbollah for more than five weeks.

The prime minister's management of that war was labeled as a "failure" in the Winograd's Committee's interim report. No need to await the final report, the conclusion is clear. But although the government claims to have implemented this report, they seem to have learned nothing. We are seeing daily a repetition of this failure in Sderot.

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