Former DM Moshe Arens carries a big stick

In the most unlikely of places, Haaretz - a strongly worded opinion piece by former civilian defense minister Moshe Arens, long a supremely respected fellow by the Israeli public.

The Gaza syndrome

By Moshe Arens

There is something about Gaza, the images it invokes in the minds of most Israelis, that almost inevitably leads to mistaken judgments by Israeli decision makers. The large number of Palestinians compressed into the Gaza Strip, the demographic flood that seems poised to swamp Israel, all seem to lead to the conclusion that we better get out of there while we still can. Fence it in, and say goodbye forever. That led to the disengagement of August 2005, a month that will go down in infamy in the history of the Zionist movement. August 2005 saw the forced evacuation of 10,000 Israelis from their homes in Gush Katif and from the northern tip of the Gaza Strip, the destruction of their property and the abandonment of their fields. Gaza was left to the rule of the terrorists.

We have no reason to be in Gaza, they said, and most Israelis at the time seemed to agree, disregarding the terror we had left behind. The land must be divided between us and them, they said, and most Israelis seemed to agree. Between us and the terrorists? We shall be here and they shall be there, they said, and most Israelis seemed to agree. But are they going to stay there? [...]

Click to read the rest, there's more and it's realistic stuff.