The Disengagement was a plot for Sharon to assuage the left and avoid indictment.
The Disengagement was a plan foisted upon Sharon by the US.
The Disengagement was a strategy to put Israel in a better defensive position
The Disengagement was a ploy to pressure on Abbas and consolidate the West Bank.
Sharon did not clearly and consistenly explain his thinking, but that is what pundits are for.
But rest assured, there is some real tangible thinking there.
In his article With Gaza pullout, Sharon again has right strategy, Victor Davis Hanson writes:
"Brilliant tactician, lousy strategist." So goes the conventional wisdom about the old bulldozer Ariel Sharon.
But that assessment is exactly backward.
That in itself is scary.
Once Israel is out of Gaza and has fenced off slivers of the West Bank near Jerusalem deemed vital for its security, Sharon can bide his time until a responsible Palestinian government emerges as a serious interlocutor.
I am not reassured.
I enjoy reading Hanson's articles, especially what he writes about Iraq and the war against terrorism. He has a broad sense of history puts events together in context.
But I have difficulty when he writes:
Then any lingering disagreements over disputed land can be relegated to the status of a Tibet, northern Cyprus, Kashmir or the Sakhalin and Kurile Islands — all postbellum "contested" territories that do not prompt commensurate attention from the Muslim world, Europe or the United Nations.
Palestine as a sovereign state rather than a perpetually "occupied " territory also inherits the responsibility of all mature nations to police its own. So when Hamas and co. press on with their killing — most likely through rocket attacks over the fence — they do so as representatives of a new Palestinian nation.
...Politically, Gaza plays well. If the once right-wing Sharon can harness his own zealots, the world wonders why Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas cannot muzzle Hamas and Hezbollah?
When has any issue involving Israel been 'relegated'?
When have Palestinian Arabs ever been held responsible for their own actions?
Since when does the world wonder why Abbas cannot control terrorists? They know the answer: it's because Sharon and Israel is not being supportive enough and needs to make the concessions necessary to strengthen him.
In conclusion, Hanson writes:
The pullout from Gaza is bringing long-needed moral clarity to a fuzzy crisis. Heretofore the Palestinians have counted on foreign support through fear of terrorism, influence with oil producers, unspoken anti-Semitism and carefully crafted victim status accorded savvy anti-Western zealots. But now they are increasingly on their own, and what transpires may soon end their romance of the perpetually oppressed.
But the things that Palestinian Arabs have counted on for support--terrorism, oil dependence, anti-Semitism, and savvy anti-Western zealots--all of them seem to be on the upswing.
When it comes to Israel, whatever physics of politics exist just never seem to apply. Israel just does not seem to produce real leadership.
And contrary to Hanson's keen analysis, perhaps the emperor really has no clothes.
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