Gaza Gaffe

In what could be considered a historic moment in the history of the Middle East peace process, Israel has begun an abandonment of the Gaza Strip. Jewish settlers in Gaza were served eviction notices today, and forced by Israel's military to abandon their homes. The settlers vowed to oppose the pullout using peaceful means, and had formed human chains attempting to protect their homes, according to Fox News. Meanwhile, Jewish men donned their white prayer shawls and prayed at the wall for divine intervention.

Unfortunately, the true sadness of Israel's pullout from Gaza does not come from seeing Jewish settlers being forced from their homes. The tragedy of this story is in the fact that the pullout of these thousands of Israelis will ultimately show to have been in vain when it comes to the overall quest for peace in the Middle East.

Land for peace has never worked, and will never work in the Israeli/Palestinian struggle. The struggle for Palestinian leadership is not about land; it's about the complete eradication of Israel from the world's population. Hamas, the Islamic militant organization is already proclaiming the pullout as a retreat by the Israelis, and is citing militant operations against the Israelis as the basis for the pullout. They don't recognize this as a step towards peace - they recognize the pullout as an indication that their terrorist actions have been fruitful. Israel is egging them on, not taking a step towards peace.

Granted, the rank and file Palestinian is not a bloodthirsty madman who dreams each night of the complete annihilation of Israel. But the leadership of the Palestinians is exactly that. And as long as that remains the case, Israel should take its bargaining chips off the table. Know when to hold 'em, and know when to fold 'em.

But Israelis everywhere are drinking the Koolaid. They see this as a sacrifice in order to protect Jerusalem. They're confident that when Palestinian leadership comes calling, and wants to make Jerusalem the Palestinian capital, they'll accept Gaza instead. Wrong. Palestinians are already chanting "Today Gaza, tomorrow Jerusalem."

As the old saying goes, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Israel has been fooled too many times by empty promises of peace by the Palestinians. It won't work this time, and it won't work next time. (And there will be a next time). It's time for Israel to stop catering to terrorists, and bloodthirsty lunatics, and to stand its ground.