Less than a week after the Israel Defense Forces's final retreat from Gaza, Israel's senior military brass found itself warding off attacks on two fronts.
In Gaza, now empty of all Jewish presence, the Palestinians lost no time in taking charge of events in their own special way. First came the firebombing of the synagogues. We were asked indignantly by such paragons of virtue as Palestnina Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, "Well, what did you expect to happen?" As if it should go without saying that the Palestinians will exploit any opportunity to show us their contempt for all things Jewish.
After the firebombing came the looting of the destroyed Jewish communities. Then came the looting of the hothouses which had been bought for the Palestinians by wealthy Jews in the US who decided to buy them so that the Palestinians could reap what the expelled Israeli Jews had sown.
Sometime between destroying the abandoned synagogues, looting the destroyed Jewish villages, tearing apart the hothouses, throwing grenades at IDF patrols guarding Moshav Netiv Ha'asara - now athwart the new border, and shooting mortars at Sderot, the Palestinians discovered Egypt.
At the direction of Hamas, and with the help of PA militias and Egyptian soldiers, thousands of Palestinians crossed the wall separating Palestinian Rafah from Egyptian Rafah. Among the merrymakers, unknown numbers of terrorists crossed back and forth shuttling arms and reinforcements into Gaza in unknown quantities. IDF commanders looked on, and impotently stated that there is a high probability that al-Qaida operatives are among the newcomers. Oh well.
For his part, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz fecklessly railed against the Palestinians and Egyptians for doing nothing to seal the border. The beautiful agreement he negotiated with Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman fell apart in 30 seconds and suddenly Mofaz was faced with the meaning of retreat: When you retreat, others take over and you have no ability to stop them because you are not there. Oh well.
The Palestinians minced no words about their goals for the future. Hamas wants to liquidate all of Israel. Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar said on Tuesday, "We know our nation is expecting us to continue the liberation journey until the flag of Islam is raised over Jerusalem. This land should not have any Zionists on it." That is, Zahar called for genocide. Oh well.
As the IDF was attempting to make sense of the new security insanity forced upon it by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Sharon himself was ignoring the reality he created back home as he basked in the glory bestowed upon him in New York by President George W. Bush for his "courageous" surrender to Palestinian terrorism.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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