/ October 13, 2023
Palestinian radicals, American progressives, and other assorted anti-Semites have taken every opportunity to remind the world that Israel's “occupation” of Gaza is the root cause of everything that has unfolded since Saturday and the problem can only be solved through “decolonization.”
But, "in the new Gaza War, it is vital to remember that Gaza is not the problem; terrorism is," James S. Robbins noted in an Oct. 10 analysis
for The American Spectator.
"It’s hard to explain how decolonization includes butchering hundreds of unarmed young revelers at a love and peace music festival or any of the other atrocities perpetrated over the weekend," added Robbins, a Free Press Foundation
advisory board member and Dean of Academics at the Institute of World Politics.
Established in 1949 as part of the Egypt-Israel Armistice Agreement, the Gaza Strip border "is the same type of 'green line' that defines other Palestinian territorial claims. The only way to argue that Israeli cities outside Gaza are 'occupied territory' is if you believe that Israel has no right to exist at all. Conveniently, this is also the Hamas platform," Robbins noted.
Gaza was previously ruled by the Ottomans, the British, the Egyptians, and from 1967 to 2005 by Israel.
In 2005, Israel dismantled its settlements and withdrew from Gaza, leaving it to the Palestinians.
"Optimistic peace proponents envisioned two countries side by side, self-governing and stable. Gaza was supposed to be the model of what was possible in a future two-state solution," Robbins wrote. "However, land for peace became land for war in the hands of Gaza’s terrorist overlords. Hamas seized control in Gaza in 2006 after an electoral victory over the rival Fatah faction and turned the strip into a launching pad for Iranian-made rockets and other nefarious activity."
On Saturday morning, Robbins added, "Gaza served as the beachhead for staging Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, a senseless and unprecedented slaughter, the horrors of which are still unfolding. Or, as Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh described it, a scene of heroic deeds, sacrifices, courage, and pride. ... The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States embedded the sensible perspective that terrorism is no longer something civilized nations just have to put up with. Israel’s military response will not simply be mowing the grass. It will mean uprooting Gaza’s violent extremists and reseeding the lawn."
Israel's first step should be to "remove Hamas and other radical groups from Gaza by any means necessary," Robbins continued. "Treat them like Al Qaaida, ISIS, or any other such murderous organization. Shoot on sight. Take out their leadership anywhere in the world. Disrupt their financial and supply networks. Use all the tools of national and international power to end them as organizations. This will be a difficult and bloody fight, but necessary."
Then the rebuilding process can begin. "There is no reason Gaza City cannot be a tourist destination, a financial center, or a haven for Palestinian art and culture. Build infrastructure, encourage small to medium enterprises, invest in education and vocational training," Robbins wrote. "Make the private sector the engine of economic development. Lower taxes, attract foreign capital, have reasonable regulation, orderly politics, and all the best practices of good governance. Create jobs, commerce, and wealth."
The rebuilding of Gaza, however, can't be "Israel’s project alone; it would need international and especially regional support to have the legitimacy to succeed," Robbins wrote. "Enlist the aid of Egypt, which has an interest in promoting stability in Gaza. Bring in the UAE, who built Dubai and Abu Dhabi up from desert sands. Get Saudi Arabia involved, bringing the best ideas being generated in the NEOM project."
The Gaza experiment must be redone the right way, "not again reducing the Palestinians to international paupers under the sway of violent thugs. Promote regional cooperation, economic opportunities, and eventually political normalization with Israel. Make land for peace a reality," Robbins wrote. "Either that or reset and wait for this to happen again."
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